Does it feel awkward when you smile in front of people? Do you bored with showcasing the same closed-mouth smile in every picture? Are you experiencing difficulty chewing?

Over nine million people in the US receive orthodontic treatment each year.

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Everyone’s teeth are slightly different. However, there is a noticeable difference in individuals who have misaligned teeth. Some people have a single misaligned tooth, while others may experience a condition where multiple teeth or jawbones are misaligned. 

Misaligned teeth can be a source of embarrassment and anxiety, especially for teens. If severe, it can cause trouble when you speak, breathe, and chew and may also impact your mental well-being. Misalignments can also raise the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. 

Misaligned teeth and jaws, also known as malocclusion of the teeth, are usually corrected with fixed or removable braces. Dental braces are mostly used on teens or individuals in their twenties or younger because their jaws and teeth are still growing, and changing the position of their teeth and jaws is easier.

Fortunately, some indicators can help you point out that you or your loved one need braces to bring that smile back and improve the quality of life. 

1- Your Teeth Are Crooked

Crooked teeth, also called crowding, signify that you need braces. Baby and permanent teeth can both grow or become crooked. Sometimes, milk teeth move into crooked spots because their size is too small to fill the gum space. 

Are your teeth a source of embarrassment for you? Want to get rid of those awkward smiles? Consider talking to an orthodontist. If you reside somewhere around Fresno County, you might want to consider DiCiccio Freeman Orthodontics, as they provide patients with individualized and affordable Orthodontic Treatment in Fresno & Clovis

2- You Have Gaps in The Teeth

Diastema, commonly known as tooth gap, is a space or gap between two teeth, especially in the upper front teeth. The common reason for gapped teeth (front) is a fraenum that sits lower than normal, keeping the two teeth off each other. The fraenum of the upper lip is a piece of tissue that connects the upper lip to the upper gum. 

It is a common problem amongst kids who still have milk teeth. As their jaws expand, gaps appear between the milk teeth, which are small in size but don’t worry, these gaps are temporary — they disappear when larger adult teeth appear in place of milk teeth. However, if the gaps between your adult teeth persist, it might indicate that your jaw and tooth size do not match. 

Seeing an orthodontist can help you find the issue and treatment for your misaligned teeth. 

3-     You Experience Difficulty Chewing

Not all dental issues are visible. You might notice that you have difficulty chewing, accidentally bite the inside of your cheek, end up hitting the roof of your mouth, or your teeth may collide unexpectedly, causing jaw pain; if so, jaw misalignment is usually the reason behind it. 

Your dentist may be able to diagnose your problem and recommend braces to help improve your ability to chew and swallow. 

4- You Have Difficulty Biting

Normally, your teeth should fit together smoothly, but if they do not, you might have an incorrect bite. Although it is a common dental problem, one must not let this condition go unchecked. There are several types of incorrect bites, including:

  • Overbite or overjet

An overbite is where the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower set of teeth. While a slight overbite is normal, if individuals experience a significant overbite issue, they must address it. On the other hand, overjet is when your top set of teeth protrudes out over the bottom ones. It increases the risk of trauma to your bottom teeth; however, you can get professional help from an orthodontist to correct it with braces. 

  • Crossbite

A normal bite is when the upper row of your teeth settles in front of your bottom set of teeth when you close your mouth. Crossbite occurs when your top tooth sits behind your bottom tooth.

  • Underbite  

An underbite is the inverse of an overbite. An underbite occurs when your lower front teeth protrude more than the top teeth. 

  • Open bite

An open bite is when your upper and lower teeth cannot touch when your jaws are closed. It can cause difficulty chewing and trouble in speech.

5- You Experience Jaw Pain

Painful jaws may not seem like a sign that shows you need braces, but it has a lot to do with it. Suffering from creaking pain or experiencing clicking can be due to tooth misalignment. It can lead to other symptoms, including loss of sleep and headaches. Correcting the bite and aligning the teeth with the help of braces can help alleviate all those symptoms and improve your oral health. 

6- You Have Lost Your Baby Teeth Earlier

This is the sign you probably never considered. Milk teeth usually fall out in the similar order they grew in, and the new teeth appear almost three months after the old tooth is lost. But if milk teeth fall out in different order or are not substituted within that specified period, that is when issues can occur. It can negatively impact your tooth spacing and lead to gaps or crooked teeth.

7- You Suffer from Speech Problems

It can be scary and embarrassing when you are unable to speak clearly. Speech problems might be a symptom of various things, but they can also happen because of orthodontic problems. 

Jaw misalignment can cause trouble in regular speech patterns and talking. When your jaw is misaligned, controlling the jaw direction and producing words can be difficult and make speech abnormal. 

If you are facing a speech problem and cannot find the cause, a visit to the dentist is the best option and may fix your problems. 


A good smile can take you a long way when meeting people and making an impression. However, if your teeth are not healthy and aligned, it might become a source of embarrassment and stress. Misaligned teeth are one of the reasons many people hide their smiles behind their hands and feel awkward. Learn about some signs discussed above to help you identify that you need braces. A short visit to an orthodontist may help you figure out the problem in your teeth and correct misalignments to bring that perfect, cheerful smile back.