Knowing When It's Time to Get Braces

Braces are an important form of orthodontic treatment for both children and adults who have problems with proper teeth positioning. Identifying early warning signs for requiring braces can help you achieve oral health with minimal complications moving forward.

Indeed, the earlier you know you will probably need braces, the better you can plan for them to be placed. If you pay attention to the following warning signs, you can plan to visit your dentist early to determine if you will need braces.

Crowding of the mouth

In most cases, crowding is the number one reason for requiring braces. Crowding refers to a situation where there is not enough space in the mouth to accommodate all the teeth. It commonly occurs in children, where the crowding results in crooked teeth and incorrect positioning.

If left unattended, crowding can result in misplaced teeth and harder to reach areas when brushing and flossing. Even worse, crowding can result in the accumulation of plaque, which causes bad breathe, tooth decay and gum disease.

Braces can properly position crowded teeth to fit in the mouth and allow for easier cleaning.


An overbite is another common condition that requires braces to fix. When you have an overbite, the front teeth stick out too much in front and beyond the bottom row of teeth. In some cases, closing the mouth can be difficult because the front teeth are sticking too far outwards.

An overbite exposes the top row teeth to an increased risk of fracturing, cavities and displacement. To fix these issues, braces can be equipped on the front teeth to gradually reposition them within the rest of the mouth.


An underbite is the opposite of overbite. In this case, the lower front teeth stick out beyond the upper teeth. This is usually caused by a disproportionate jaw size that may cause a person to experience difficulty when chewing and biting. Braces can also fix an underbite by repositioning the lower front teeth.


If your upper teeth don't line up with the opposing lower teeth, you may need braces to correct this misalignment. Often referred to as a crossbite, this condition causes the teeth to fracture and wear out faster because they don't line up correctly in the mouth. With a crossbite you are also at an increased risk of gum recession. It can also be difficult to restore them when they become worn out over time.

If you have a crossbite, it is important to visit a dentist and see if braces are required to help fix the problem.