Harbor Family Orthodontics

6 Signs Adults or Kids May Need Braces or Invisalign

This article discusses 6 signs that indicate if adults or kids may need braces or Invisalign. Some people have crooked teeth from an early age, while others develop dental problems later in life. Either way, it’s important to take care of your smile and make sure your teeth are healthy and straight.  Many people aren’t aware that aligners can correct and prevent problems with teeth, jaw and bite.

While braces and Invisalign can straighten your teeth, close gaps, and improve your smile, they can also help prevent cavities and other jaw issues. Typically, orthodontists will recommend braces for use during the preteen and teen years. However, today 20% of orthodontic patients are adults as more adults see the benefits.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By submitting this form you agree to be contacted via phone/text/email.

Invisalign vs. Braces

Do you or your child have crooked teeth? If so, there are two options for treatment: braces and Invisalign. Both orthodontic treatments can get your smile back on track. Your dentist will help determine which treatment option is best for you or your child (2).

Straightening teeth with braces

Braces are made of metal wires that are attached to brackets that are attached to the front of each tooth. In addition, the wires pull the teeth into their correct positions. Finally, a retainer is worn after the removal of braces to help keep your teeth straight in the future.

Straightening teeth with Invisalign

Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners that gradually move the teeth into their proper positions over time. Moreover, the aligners fit over the teeth, but they’re barely noticeable because they’re transparent and are taken out when eating or brushing your teeth.

6 Signs Your Kid Needs Braces or Invisalign

Braces are a great way to get straight teeth. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthodontics, all kids should see an orthodontist by age 7 (3). The reasoning behind this suggestion is that if a patient is found to need braces, starting therapy as soon as possible would yield the best possible results.

But how do you know if your child needs braces? Check out these signs that suggest your kid may need braces or Invisalign:

Crowding of Teeth

Lack of space is a possibility for your child’s permanent teeth when they erupt. If your kid has crowded teeth, he or she may experience speech problems including a lisp or difficulty eating because the teeth are pushed together.

Crossbites and Open Bites

The abnormality of a crossbite, which, if ignored, can cause a variety of complications, needs immediate dental attention. It’s a condition in which one or more of your upper teeth is behind one or more of your lower teeth, or in which your teeth don’t touch when you smile.

In addition, crossbites are associated with uneven jaw development, receding gums, and premature tooth wear. However, the effectiveness of braces in correcting a crossbite depends on the underlying reason. 

Genetics has a major role in the development of open bites. In addition, those who habitually suck their thumbs or use pacifiers may develop an open bite.

This is characterized by a large space between the upper and lower teeth. The trouble with communication and chewing are both consequences of an open bit.

Their Teeth Stick Out More Than Normal

This is a big one — if your kid’s teeth stick out more than normal and you want them to look better, then it’s probably time to consider an orthodontic treatment like Invisalign.

Breathing Through Mouth

Changes to the facial structure may occur if your kid breathes via his or her mouth often. The inability to rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth is a common cause of mouth breathing. In turn, this can lead to a child’s jaw becoming too narrow to accommodate all of their teeth.

Biting tongue or cheek frequently

When a baby tooth has not fallen out by the time another tooth is ready to come through, it may affect the growth of the new tooth. This can lead to crowding and misalignment of teeth which could indicate that its time for braces or Invisalign.

A baby tooth that is blocking an adult tooth from growing in its place.

When a baby’s tooth remains in place, it can cause problems for adult teeth that are trying to push through the gums and come into maturity.

6 Signs an Adult Needs Braces or Invisalign

Seeing your dentist is the best way to determine if you require orthodontic treatment. They will check your teeth to see if there are any problems or issues. Though there are a few telltale indicators, you can recognize them on your own.

The following are some of the symptoms:

Gaps in the teeth

If you notice gaps between your teeth, then it is likely that you need braces. More importantly, the gap between the teeth can increase as time goes on and this can make it difficult for you to chew food.

The problem with gaps between teeth is that they tend to get bigger over time and are best treated as soon as possible so that your smile does not get ruined by these gaps.

Crooked teeth or crowding

Adults with misaligned or crowded teeth may have difficulty chewing certain foods and might feel uncomfortable when smiling. If left untreated, this could lead to gum recession, which could make it difficult to clean your teeth properly and increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease down the road.

Not Being Comfortable Smiling

If you’re uncomfortable with the way your teeth look and feel, then you should consider some type of orthodontic treatment. Not only is it important to feel good about yourself.

Frequent jaw pain

Misaligned teeth and bite issues could cause clicking or creaking discomfort. Straightening the teeth and fixing the bite at the same time can help alleviate the problem. You should consult your orthodontist or dentist if jaw pain arises. Finally, if you want more satisfying outcomes, you can consult a dentist.

Impaired speech

Misalignment of the teeth can also cause lip or other speech impediments. If this is the case, you might need to see an orthodontist.

Food getting stuck to your teeth

A sign that you may need braces or Invisalign is food getting stuck in your teeth. Moreover, If food gets trapped between the teeth, it’s very difficult to remove which can lead to tooth decay and bad breath


Braces have come a long way since their invention in the 19th century, and today they’re so much more than just a set of metal brackets and wires. If you think you need braces or Invisalign but are not sure, we recommend visiting a trusted orthodontist to have them evaluate your teeth and jaw alignment. Your orthodontist will make recommendations based on your needs and the results of your examination.

Accessibility Toolbar