When to Consider Getting Braces


Getting braces is something of a rite of passage for many young people. It is also a great way for adults to achieve the smile they’ve always dreamt of. Here are some common alignment conditions to look for that could mean braces may be in your child’s future.



• Overcrowding

Overcrowding occurs when there isn’t enough space in the mouth for adult teeth to grow in straight without overlapping. Braces can take care of this problem early by making sure your teeth shift and grow in correct alignment. Without braces, teeth crowding can make it very difficult or even impossible to properly clean your teeth, which can lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay.




An underbite, or prognathism, occurs when the front upper teeth sit behind the front lower teeth, rather than the other way around. Depending on the severity, this can make it difficult to eat or bite. In addition to oral health problems, an underbite can also cause speech difficulty and an asymmetrical or imbalanced facial appearance.


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A crossbite is when a tooth or teeth emerge closer to the cheek or tongue and does not align with the corresponding upper or lower tooth or teeth. If left untreated, a crossbite can cause improper jaw growth, speech problems, and increased gum recession. When the affected front teeth are worn or damaged to the point of loss, the crossbite and jaw growth may not allow the missing teeth to be replaced by dental implants later in life.




Overbites vary in severity and occur when the upper front teeth overextend forward compared to the lower front teeth. Untreated overbites pose an increased risk of damage to the protruding front teeth, and further complications should the front teeth need to be restored.



The above conditions are just a few alignment issues that are commonly resolved by getting braces. It’s important to note that each case is different and other tooth development issues can arise as the child grows. How long braces stay on depends on the severity of the problem needing repair, and time it takes for your mouth to adjust. The average length of time a person can expect to wear braces is between one and two years.


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At Tendercare Dental, our staff cares about providing your family the best dental care. If getting braces isn’t for you, but you’re still looking for a straighter smile check out our teeth straightening page to learn about other procedures.