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How to Know if You Need Braces: Guide for Children and Adults

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Bonus Material: Get Your Perfect Smile: A Complete Guide for NHS & Private Orthodontic Patients

Did you know that over four million people in the UK wear braces?

You may have to wear braces in your life at some point or another. Most of the time, this will happen during your adolescent years.

However, there are many adults with braces out there too. Did you know about 25% of the people that wear braces are adults?

Some people wait to get braces because they may not recognise the signs that they need them.

Continue reading to identify the six main signs you may need to wear braces.

Crooked Teeth

One sign that you may need braces is if you have crooked teeth. If you are unsure if this relates to you, take a close look in the mirror, and open your mouth.

Do all your teeth balance out together? Are they all in a straight pattern?

Talk to your orthodontist about getting braces if you notice an irregularity.

crooked teeth cross bite

Crowded Teeth

Another sign that you could need braces is if you have crowded teeth. Again, take a close look in the mirror if you are unsure if you have this.

You may notice that some of your teeth are closer together than others. Or you could see in other people that their teeth do not look as close together as yours.

Braces can help you get the proper spacing for your teeth if this is a problem.

Crooked teeth crowding


The next thing that you need to watch out for is if you have an overjet. You can tell this usually by taking a close look at your front teeth.

Do they stick out? Do you chew your food much more with your top teeth than your bottom teeth?

Overjets tend to be more noticeable, so they may have a better chance of being discovered early. Not taking action with an overjet can result in trauma to the front teeth as well as eating problems.

An orthodontist can help you get those teeth back to the proper position.

crooked teeth over bite


Something that you may not consider to be an issue with your teeth is having an underbite. While an underbite is the opposite of an overjet, it does have similar problems if left untreated.

Underbites occur when the bottom teeth are too far forward compared to the rest of your mouth.

So, like all other signs, the best approach is to look closely at your teeth in a mirror. Are your bottom teeth further up in your mouth than your front teeth?

Do you chew your food much more with your bottom teeth than with your top teeth?

An underbite may not be as obvious or as noticeable as an overbite. If unsure, notice how you eat your food at your next meal or snack.

If you leave an underbite untreated, you could potentially have jaw pain in the future and find some foods difficult to eat.

Braces can help move these teeth back to a normal position and help ease any possible jaw pain that you may have.

crooked teeth under bite

Spacing in Between Teeth

Another sign that you could need braces is if you have noticeable spacing between your teeth. This one should be more obvious to notice, as you will see your teeth are not as even or together as other people’s teeth.

Since gaps between teeth are not the most pleasing sight to see, you may want to get braces to improve your appearance alone.

Getting braces can help solve this spacing issue by tightening the gap between your teeth and bringing those teeth closer together.

Difficulty Chewing

Are you someone who rarely chews their food before you swallow it? Are you someone who feels like they are not chewing their food enough?

Well, this could be a sign that you need braces. Braces can allow you to properly align your jaw and teeth so you can chew your food properly.

This can have immense health benefits as food will be more broken down when you swallow and digest it.

That results in an easier digestive process, getting more nutrients out of your food, and better gut health for you.

Also, you could see yourself having more energy when you start chewing your food better. Sometimes, not chewing your food enough can result in somebody having a lack of energy.

Talk to an Orthodontist About How to Know if You Need Braces

These six common issues are some of the signs that you may require braces.

Take our complimentary smile assessment and start your journey to a better, straighter smile today!

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Picture of Dr Andrew McGregor

Dr Andrew McGregor

Andrew completed his three years of orthodontic specialist training in 2010 gaining his Masters degree and Membership in Orthodontics and has worked at Park Orthodontics since then. As an orthodontic specialist he has treated thousands of patients ranging from simple bite correction in children to complex smile and bite makeovers in adults. Andrew is a member of the British Orthodontic Society, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Scottish Orthodontic Specialists Group and the British Lingual Orthodontic Society.

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