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Ouch! Do I need braces?

May 16 / 2017

So, you’re questioning whether your teeth are in need of braces. You may feel your teeth aren’t Hollywood straight, or that your bite could be adjusted. Your teeth may even collide when you bite, swallow or chew.

It’s sometimes easy to notice the signs that you need orthodontic treatment, but other times it may be hidden.

Different teeth need different treatments. Meeting with an orthodontic provider for a consultation to determine whether braces are the answer for you is a great starting place. If they are needed, there are many different options for your pearly whites.   

Crowded Teeth

Crowding is one of the most common reasons to seek orthodontic treatment.

Crowding means there isn’t enough room in your mouth for all your teeth. Without proper room in your mouth, the teeth will crowd each other, resulting in crooked teeth. Crooked teeth make the simple task of brushing or flossing more difficult. It can also cause periodontal pockets, which allows food to get stuck between the teeth and no one wants anything in their teeth. If the pockets are left untreated they can cause tooth loss.



When your bite isn’t right

You may be surprised to learn that there are many different types of bites. When we refer to “bite” issues, we’re talking about overbites, underbites, crossbites and open bites.


  • The vertical and horizontal overlap of the front teeth
  • People can have different severities of an overbite
  • It’s noticeable when the front teeth stick out further than the bottom teeth
  • An overbite can cause jaw pain, tooth and gum health issues, speech issues and low self-esteem 


  • When the upper tooth situates itself behind the lower opposing tooth
  • It can affect several teeth or a single tooth
  • A crossbite can cause excess wear on the teeth, uneven jaw development, increased gum recession and facial asymmetry

Open Bite

  • An abnormal bite in which the front teeth do not touch when the mouth closes
  • It causes a gap between the two rows of teeth
  • An open bite can cause speech problems, such as a lisp, and difficulty biting



Jaw pain  

Jaw pain and headaches are often caused because of a bite issue. When you’re sleeping, the jaw can slip out of place causing tension.

Pain can also be caused by a condition called TMJ disorder, or temporomandibular joint disorder. According to the Canadian Dental Association, TMD involves your body’s temporomandibular joint (TMJ) which connects your jawbone to your skull. Some say it’s like a sliding hinge.

When the hinge isn’t working properly, you can experience a pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control the movement of your jaw. Ouch!

Gaps between the teeth

A gap between two teeth is called a diastema. It appears most often between the two upper front teeth. But, it can occur between any two teeth.

Gaps between teeth can leave gums unprotected during chewing. The space can trap food and create food build up between the teeth. Hard foods like chips, crackers or pretzels can harm your soft gums, as well. The gaps can look like missing teeth, even though there are no teeth missing. This may cause lower self-esteem when smiling.

Impacted teeth

An impacted tooth is an adult tooth that can’t grow into its normal position. Impacted teeth are caused by crowding, which we explained earlier. If left unattended, an impacted tooth can cause the destruction of another adult tooth root. It could also mean surgical removal if left unattended.

What caused me to need braces?

You may be asking what causes you to need braces. Some orthodontic issues are genetic, so you may have inherited those spacing or bite problems. Other issues can develop over time due to thumb-sucking, finger-sucking, dental decay, injuries or poor nutrition.

The good news is… these problems do have a solution and it’s braces!

If you have any one of these signs and you think you need braces, it’s time to consult with an orthodontic provider. During your initial examination, you will learn the best treatment methods to meet your needs. You will also have your treatment plan outlined, your estimated length of care calculated and a financial quote and payment plan presented.

Call to book your free consultation with Align Ortho today. Let the Kelowna team determine if you’re in need of orthodontic treatment.


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