Do I need braces?

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Most people think that only teenagers get braces. However, the reality is that more and more young adults and middle aged individuals are using orthodontic treatments as a way to correct problems with their teeth.

A patient who has an orthodontic problem will see the benefits if they use orthodontic treatments regardless of their age. Many orthodontists do say that an ideal time for a person to get braces is between the age of 10 and 14 because at that age, a person’s head and mouth are still growing and their teeth are more accessible to straightening.

How can you tell if you have an orthodontic issue that requires tooth straightening or correction? The following are a few of the more common orthodontic problems that lead a person to get tooth straightening or correction.

Reasons for Teeth Straightening

Malocclusion is a term for orthodontic problems that result when a person’s teeth or jaw do not fit together as they should. Orthodontic straightening techniques can be used for patients who have some of these problems to help them preserve their health, improve their speech, protect their teeth from trauma, and improve the way they look. The following are some of the most common reasons for getting braces.

Class II Bite

You may benefit from orthodontic treatment if you have a class II bite. This is a condition were either the upper or lower jaw is overgrown, or both of them are. This is the most common bite problem that people have. It is most effectively treated when a person is relatively young and still experiencing a growth spurt.

Class III Bite

In common vernacular, this is referred to as an under bite. This is where the lower jaw extends out farther than the upper jaw. The most obvious sign of an under bite is when the lower teeth protrude in front of and sometimes over the upper teeth. When a person has an under bite, they experience premature tooth wear and tooth damage. If left untreated, it could result in a person needing corrective surgery.

Problems with Spacing

The space in a person’s teeth may be off because they have teeth that are proportionately smaller than others, or they may have other discrepancies in their teeth or jaws. Improper spacing leads to a bite that is not aligned and impedes a person’s ability to chew and eat their food properly.


This is the exact opposite of spacing. Crowding happens when there is not enough space in a person’s mouth for all of their teeth to erupt from their gums. The situation will often require a mixture of tooth extractions and orthodontic straightening devices like Invisalign aligners.


This happens when a person’s upper teeth cover over their lower front teeth. This can result in the lower front teeth cutting into the roof of the mouth, leading to gum and tissue damage.

Open Bite

This is where the front upper and lower teeth do not overlap. As a result, a person’s ability to chew is compromised, and it may lead to some speech impediments. An open bite is usually the result of a person sucking their thumb through their toddler and post toddler years.


Cross Bite

This happens when a person has lower teeth or upper teeth that are too wide or too narrow relative to each other. So when a person closes their mouth, their teeth do not sit well together. The result is premature tooth wear and problems with how the jaw functions.

Impacted Teeth

An impacted tooth is a tooth that is not able to grow into its normal position. It could be the result of a tooth developing in the wrong direction, too many teeth in the mouth, or by some obstruction.

What Kind of Correctional Appliance Should I Wear?

It is best for your orthodontist to answer these questions for you after doing a thorough evaluation of your teeth and your problem. That being said, most patients have a choice. Orthodontic appliances usually come in three varieties. The most popular type consist of metal brackets or ceramic brackets that are adhered to a person’s teeth. Ceramic brackets are more popular than their metal counterpart because they have a color that is similar to a person’s teeth and are far less noticeable than metal brackets. These appliances will use wires to help move your teeth to the proper position.

A relatively new alternative is Invisalign aligners. These are transparent aligners that are made from a high quality plastic. A patient will change the aligner every couple of weeks as their teeth begin to straighten. One of the benefits of this system is that since they are transparent, a person can correct their teeth without anyone knowing they are wearing an appliance. Also, they are not permanent, and a patient can remove them whenever they want to eat and drink.

How Long Will the Treatment Last?

This is going to vary depending on the treatment plan your orthodontist gives you. The more complicated the problem is and the older you are, the longer you will need to wear the correctional devices. In most cases, a patient can expect treatment to last from between 12 to 24 months.

During the treatment procedure, you may be required to make some adjustments to your personal habits, such as minimizing the amount of sweet foods you eat or reducing starchy foods in your diet. Also, harder foods like carrots or apples should be cut into smaller pieces to avoid damaging your teeth during the correctional process.

Having an attractive smile is such an important part of everyday life. It affects the way that people see you and treat you in your professional and personal life.

Something as important as your appearance should not be left up to chance. The professionals at our Tisseront Orthodontics clinic have years of experience helping hundreds of people like you get a smile that they can be proud of. We do this by using advanced techniques and the latest in orthodontic technology. Make an  appointment and see how our treatment program can work for you.

Schedule an Appointment with Tisseront Orthodontics

At Tisseront Orthodontics in Reston, Va., you can receive a free consultation with Dr. Stephan Tisseront to learn more about your orthodontic options. Our orthodontist takes care of children, teenagers and adults at our top-of-the-line office, and he offers these treatments:

• Lingual braces – worn on the backs of teeth
• Invisalign – aligners for teenagers or adults
• Ceramic orthodontia – made with clear wires and color-matching brackets

It is also possible to reduce your orthodontic treatment time by using a small device from AcceleDent Aura that helps to accelerate the movement of your teeth into the correct positions.

Call us today at 703-773-1200 to schedule an examination with Dr. Tisseront in our state-of-the-art orthodontic facility.

Tisseront Orthodontics
11720 Plaza America Drive, Ste. 110 Reston VA 20190-4762

Phone: (703)773-1200