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What tests can determine if I need to be treated for crooked teeth?

A dentist can conduct a routine examination of your mouth to tell if you need treatment for crooked teeth. He or she will look for signs such as abnormal teeth alignment and facial appearance and may also send you to an orthodontist for further testing. The orthodontist will likely take x-rays, facial photographs, and a mold of your teeth to see the position and condition of your teeth, roots and gums, and then determine whether treatment is needed. 
Braces and orthodontic treatment are used to correct “bad bites,” or malocclusion (teeth that are crowded or crooked). In some cases your teeth may be straight, but your upper and lower jaws may not meet properly. These jaw or tooth alignment problems may be inherited or could result from injury, early or late tooth loss, or thumbsucking.

If you have an abnormal bite your dentist may recommend braces or another orthodontic treatment to straighten out your smile. Correcting the problem can create a nice-looking smile, but more importantly, orthodontic treatment results in a healthier mouth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.