Do I Need Braces? How to Tell If You (Or Your Kids) Need to See a Barrhaven Orthodontist

Braces Haven Barrhaven OttawaIn today’s guest post, Barrhaven and Ottawa Orthodontist Dr. Charles Cohen, of Braces Haven shares how you can determine if you or your kids need braces.

Having straight, properly positioned and perfectly aligned teeth has more to do than just impacting how gorgeous your teeth look when you smile. It turns out that your occlusion (the way your teeth bite together) and have a significant impact on everyday issues like:

  • How many cavities you seem to get
  • Your risk of developing gum disease
  • Migraine headaches
  • TMJ disorder
  • Worn, broken teeth and dental work
  • Risk of dental emergencies

Seeing an orthodontist is a great place to start if you have misaligned or crowded teeth. In fact, many dentists will refer their adult, teen, or pediatric patients for an orthodontic consultation as part of their comprehensive dental care, to boost the quality of their oral health in the future.

barrhaven orthodontist braces

What are Some Signs That You Need Braces?  

If you’re an adult that’s thinking about getting braces, the first place to start (well, before asking your dentist or popping in to see an orthodontist that is,) is to look in the mirror.

Do any of your teeth bite end to end? Is there flat or sharp biting edges where the enamel has worn down? Do areas seem tight or crowded, including rotated teeth? Are your gum lines as high as they should be?

During your regular dental checkups, what is your tartar buildup like? Do you tend to get heavy stains and areas that are hard to keep clean, to the point that periodontitis is starting to become a real issue?

Maybe you just want to fix an out of place tooth, so that you can feel more confident about your appearance.

These are just a few of the reasons why adults — ranging from working professionals to recent retirees — are choosing to invest in braces.

How to Tell If Your Child Needs Braces?

Barrhaven Orthodontist - how to tell if your child needs braces

The best way to know whether your son or daughter needs to get braces is to see a dentist and get what’s called a “panoramic” (or “panorex”) X-ray taken that shows the development of their jaw and teeth. This preview can offer you and your dental provider with some insight as to how teeth are forming and if any interceptive therapies can encourage more appropriate eruption patterns.

Your child may need to get braces if they’ve experienced:

  • Premature tooth loss
  • Prolonged thumb or pacifier sucking
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Speech problems

Because your child’s adult smile relies on the positioning and health of the baby teeth for guidance as to where they come in, orthodontic complications can pop up at unexpected times without parents realizing them until years later.

When (At What Age) Should You Get Braces? 

Braces Haven recommends that every child should have an evaluation by age 7, because at this age there’s a combination of both adult and primary (baby) teeth, making it possible to intercept orofacial anatomical issues at an earlier stage.

The largest age group to get braces is teens after they’ve lost all their baby teeth. But over the past decade that’s been changing; more and more adults are choosing to invest in orthodontic treatment because they never had access to it when they were younger. Or they did but didn’t wear their retainers!

You’re never too old to think about getting braces. Since a variety of options are out there, there’s always one to fit your lifestyle and age.

Does Getting Braces Hurt?

Depending on which type of braces or orthodontic treatment you’re getting, it’s normal to experience some occasional soreness or irritation. It takes some time for your mouth to grow accustomed to wearing appliances, and if you’re having them adjusted, temporary discomfort will soon pass.

For areas where wires or brackets feel rough, orthodontic wax can be used to smooth the surface coming into contact with your lips or cheeks.

Designs like clear aligners or ceramic braces that are metal-free can offer improved comfort (not to mention a subtler alternative) for adult orthodontic patients. Plus, translucent trays are removable, so the process tends to be more comfortable.

See an Orthodontist for More Information

A family orthodontist will be the best resource for comprehensive, quality, affordable braces in Barrhaven. Thanks to additional training, they’ll be able to provide services and techniques not available in a typical family dental practice. At Braces Haven, the consultation is completely free!

Braces Haven Barrhaven OttawaBraces Haven
240 Kennevale Drive, Suite 204
Ottawa, ON K2J 6B6
(613) 440-6116