People often think that those who need braces are those who simply want their smiles to look better. While this is indeed a popular solution to a crooked smile, this is not the only reason why braces are used. You might not realize it, but you may need braces yourself. How do you determine whether or not you should get braces on your teeth? Here are some of the reasons why dentists recommend that their patients wear braces:

Spacing problems – this is when your teeth are spaced either too far apart from each other, or are too close to each other. Each condition is brought about by various events as you were growing up. Teeth spaced too far apart usually caused by thumb sucking or improper chewing as a child. On the other hand, teeth crowding together (which is also called malocclusion) is caused by a variety of factors that may include the premature loss of your baby teeth due to decay, and even not being weaned from the bottle soon enough.

Having an Overbite – this when your upper front teeth cover your bottom front teeth when you smile. A slight overbite is rather common and considered pretty normal, however if the overbite is very noticeable, braces might be in order.

Having an Underbite – this is the exact opposite of the overbite, with the bottom front teeth covering the upper front teeth when a person smiles. Sometimes this particular condition has the bottom front teeth actually protruding.

Having a Crossbite – this is when a tooth or several teeth are not aligned properly and causes the entire row to be crooked. This is because these teeth (or a single tooth, for that matter) are angled towards the cheek or the other way around, making the other teeth beside it follow suit, or crowd about.

These different misalignments are in three different angles of classification, which is a method used by dentists to determine what kind you have. Spacing and crowding issues belong to what is called a Class I bite. An overbite is considered a Class II bite, while an underbite is part of the Class III bite group. Any of these may warrant the need to wear braces.

While some people believe that wearing braces is only for aesthetic purposes, it is actually a procedure that benefits more than just your smile. Braces can be used to correct problems such as speech impediments, sleep apnea, TMJ, and difficulties in eating properly due to misalignment of the teeth. When you get braces to help treat these issues, the straightening of your teeth and the improvement of your smile becomes an added bonus.

Some individuals feel that braces are not right for them because they are too old and these are only for children, which is wrong. Braces can and may be worn by adults, particularly those who need to have their teeth realigned to help correct some of the abovementioned problems. If you are still not sure whether or not braces are ideal for you, it might be a good idea to talk to your dentist about this to find out for sure.