The global orthodontics market size was nearly $5bn in 2020. While the pandemic forced the market to contract, experts say it will reach more than $16bn by 2028.

Its dramatic growth is due to several factors. One, oral health is more accessible than before. Plus, maintaining oral health is relatively easy. 

More importantly, many realize that poor oral health can contribute to diseases like endocarditis, heart disease, and diabetes. Having good oral health is the gateway to have good overall health.  

So with that said, let’s check out these seven signs you need braces.

1. Crooked or Crowded Teeth

Crowded teeth is the most visible sign you need braces. When your teeth are crowded, it means they don’t have enough space to be straight. This makes them crooked. 

Crooked and crowded teeth often begin at a young age. That’s why many parents get braces for their kids after losing all their baby teeth. Yet, even when kids have braces, they can still face crowded or crooked teeth as adults as their teeth shift. 

This is especially true if you genetically have crooked teeth in your family. Genetics can play an important role in how teeth come in and if they will be crooked or not.

If you don’t get braces for crowding, you may find it difficult to brush and floss your teeth correctly as they get more crowded. This will lead to oral problems such as:

  • Plaque build-up
  • Tooth decay 
  • Gum disease
  • Bad breath
  • Bone loss

Crowding can also lead to more mouth trauma and accidents. Choose an orthodontist near you to provide the dental care you need to overcome crowded and crooked teeth. 

2. Underbite, Overbite, or Open Bite

An underbite is when your lower teeth extend farther than your upper teeth. Conversely, an overbite is when your upper teeth extend farther than your lower teeth.

Underbites and overbites usually occur when you have top and bottom jaws of different sizes. 

An open bite is when your teeth don’t close when you bite down.

All three of these are jaw-related issues. They can cause problems with biting, eating, and sometimes even speaking. 

They are clear signs you need braces. Not only can they cause the problems mentioned, but they increase your risk for mouth trauma, including fractures. 

3. Mouth Fatigue, Jaw Clicking, or Pain

Mouth fatigue is a more subtle sign you should get braces. Be aware of how your jaw feels throughout the day, especially after eating. Look out for these symptoms in your jaw:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Achiness

If you have these feelings, you may have misaligned teeth, which braces can help. Additionally, if your jaw clicks while chewing, it’s a strong indication you need braces. 

Jaw clicking is a sign of TMJ disorder (temporomandibular joint). 

If left untreated, jaw pain and clicking can cause severe headaches. That’s because misaligned teeth can put pressure on the jaw and stress the jaw bone. 

4. Grinding or Clenching

Grinding and clenching your teeth are also common TMJ symptoms and other jaw disorders. While jaw clicking can be a sign of grinding or clenching, you will find that these often occur throughout the night, involuntarily, as you sleep. 

If you wake up with pain, stiffness, or headaches in the morning, it’s probable that you are grinding or clenching your teeth at night. This can even lead to pain in your back and shoulders if left untreated. 

Many times, the cause behind grinding and clenching is misaligned teeth. Crooked teeth inhibit proper jaw function. So, even when resting, your jaw muscles can cramp and move to ease the pain. 

Braces will help align your teeth and jaw, thus removing the need to grind or clench to alleviate pain.

5. Speech Problems

Misaligned teeth are sometimes the culprit for problems that doctors associate with behavioral or learning disorders. But misaligned teeth, especially in children, can cause the following symptoms:

  • Biting of the tongue or gums
  • Slurring words
  • Trouble eating

An orthodontist can assess the speech issues to determine if the misaligned teeth are causing the problem or not. 

6. Chronic Bad Breath

Chronic bad breath can be a sign of several different dental problems. It could also be a sign you need braces. 

To identify the cause of your bad breath, start with ensuring proper oral care. This means brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day, for 30-seconds minimally in each quadrant. 

It would be best if you also floss between your teeth daily. If you still have bad breath, make sure you’re adequately hydrated. Dehydration can cause bad breath. 

When all else fails, see a dentist. Your dentist can determine if your bad breath is because of a cavity or misaligned teeth. As mentioned, crooked teeth can lead to bad breath since they are harder to clean, leaving gunk stuck where it shouldn’t be. 

If your dentist determines you need braces to help straighten your teeth, they will refer you to an orthodontist for care.

7. You Lack Confidence in Your Smile

While this reason isn’t necessarily medical, it’s still one of the most common reasons people get braces. 

If you hate your smile because of how your teeth look, there’s a good chance you need braces no matter what the problem is. While braces don’t fix all dental issues, such as stained or discolored teeth, there are a lot of problems you can fix with braces. 

So, for anyone who feels self-conscious about their smile, schedule an appointment with an orthodontist! They can tell you precisely the right treatment plan to give you the nice, straight teeth you’re looking for. 

Showing Signs You Need Braces? Get Help

If you have any signs you need braces, don’t be afraid to seek orthodontic treatment.

Remember, good dental health won’t just help you gain more confidence in your smile. It will also help improve your overall health in the long run.

For more information about improving health, make sure to check out the Health section in the sidebar.