Are you feeling some discomfort in the placement of your teeth? Is this happening with one of your children or family members? Well, you or your loved one might need braces.

For starters, you’ll likely have a dentist or other healthcare professional recommend an orthodontist for you to contact for a consultation. But beyond that, the decision is in your hands. It’s a common misconception that children or teens are the only ones who need braces. You might find in your adulthood that braces are a good option for your overall health.

Here are some signs to look for to tell if you need braces.

You’re having difficulty biting or chewing your food.

Are you constantly biting the sides of your cheeks or finding it hard to chew your food without adjusting your bite? This is likely a sign that your teeth need to be realigned. It could be that your upper teeth extend past your bottom teeth, or vice-versa. If your teeth aren’t properly positioned, you could need braces.

You lost your baby teeth sooner than you thought you would.

Something like losing baby teeth too quickly could negatively affect your permanent teeth, like when or how they come in. It’s possible they haven’t developed or grown at the rate they should to keep up with the pace of your baby teeth.

You have gaps in your teeth.

If you feel like you have too much space between your teeth, it can be hard to chew or bite down on food and, in turn, negatively affect your day-to-day.

Your teeth are crooked or unaligned.

Does food easily get stuck in your teeth? Are there a couple teeth that feel crowded or out of place? Do you hate showing your pearly whites when you smile? You might want to solve these issues with braces.

Your jaw is making strange sounds.

When your jaw is in the wrong position, it can shift and create sounds as a result. You’re experiencing a developmental issue that might also be causing you pain. This is a sign that braces are a good solution for you.