How Do I Know If I Need Braces? - Video Guide

Many people want to know: how do you know if you need braces? 

In this video, Diamond Braces orthodontist, Dr. Douglas Palaganas, explains how you might know whether you need braces or not.  

There are many different uses for braces because every mouth and set of teeth are totally unique. For a few lucky people, their teeth simply grow into exactly the right positions without misalignment. For the rest of us – which is most people –  braces can help re-adjust teeth into correct positions, leading to straight teeth, a great smile, and better overall health for a lifetime!  

What Conditions Do Braces Treat? 

Braces treat a wide variety of conditions, from underbites to crossbites, excessive overjet, crowding, gaps or diastema, and more. For more information,  read more on common orthodontic conditions .

Some of these conditions are very obvious – for instance, crowding is very noticeable – and some are subtle, like a mild overbite. Rather than diagnosing at home, the best way to determine your specific condition and decide whether or not to get braces is to consult with a licensed orthodontist. Your teeth may need adjustments that you didn’t even know about, but which could have huge benefits for your health.

Some signature signs you might need braces:

  • Your teeth look crowded or crooked. If you’re uncomfortable smiling with your teeth showing, this is a good indication braces could change your life!
  • You lost your baby teeth relatively early, and adult teeth took time to grow in. This is often an early indication that adult teeth may not have grown in properly.
  • You feel shifting or clicking in your jaw. Orthodontic care can help with jaw issues.
  • You have trouble biting down all the way, or your teeth bite the sides of your mouth and/or hit the roof of your mouth. “Bad bite” is one of the many telltale signs of improper dental alignment.
  • Difficulty chewing food: this can be another sign of a bad bite and a need for braces.

Can My Dentist Tell Me if I Need Braces?

Dentists are not orthodontists, but they do have a good understanding of which dental conditions may require braces. Many patients are referred for orthodontia by their primary dentist.

If you think you might need braces, you can ask your dentist at your next visit for their opinion, as well as a referral. You don’t need a referral to see an orthodontist, however:  you can schedule a consultation with an orthodontist, who can examine your teeth immediately and recommend whether or not braces are right for you.

Should I Get Braces Even if My Teeth are Straight? 

It depends! Again, the only way to know for sure whether you need braces is to schedule a consultation with a licensed orthodontist.

Some lucky people have exceptionally well-positioned teeth – but for most people, teeth need some help aligning in their correct positions.  Even if your teeth appear straight, there may be underlying conditions that require treatment for optimal health.

Whether or not your teeth appear crooked, it can’t hurt to get your teeth examined by a licensed orthodontist to see if treatment might be necessary!


Consultation With a Licensed Orthodontist is The Best Way to Know Whether You Need Braces

While they are some giveaway signs, the truth is that your best bet for knowing whether you need braces or not is to go to a licensed professional!

Orthodontists study for years – beyond dental school – to master orthodontic care.  There are many kinds of conditions that can be treated with braces, and they are able to identify and address each of these with an in-office consultation.

Want to read more?  Learn more about Braces 101 .