How Do I Know If I Need Braces?

How do I know if I need braces? Folks in Richlands, Abingdon, and Bristol want to know. Our team at Westfall Orthodontics has answers! Dr. Westfall offers metal braces and clear braces for you and your whole family. They work wonders for kids, teens, and even adults (we haven’t forgotten about you!). They aren’t for everyone. So, here’s how to tell if you need them or not. 

Spotting The Signs

Would braces be in your future? Believe it or not, there are some definite signs. This orthodontic treatment serves one main purpose: to bring your teeth and jaws into alignment. Sometimes, our teeth don’t grow like they should. You might hear Dr. Westfall call it “malocclusion.” It means “a bad bite.” When your jaw is closed, your teeth aren’t where they need to be. 

Malocclusions At a Glance

There are a few different types of malocclusions that braces help. Do any of these apply to you? 

  • Overbite: Your top teeth are too far over your bottom teeth
  • Underbite: Your bottom teeth close over your top teeth
  • Crossbite: Upper teeth rest inside bottom teeth
  • Impacted teeth: A tooth remains inside your gums
  • Open bite: Your back teeth line up, but your front teeth don’t
  • Overcrowding: Too many teeth and not enough room
  • Spacing: The opposite of overcrowding, when teeth are too far apart

These are some of the most common bad bites we deal with at Westfall Orthodontics. Look for these signs. If you have one (or more), don’t worry! Metal or clear braces can help you get the smile you’ve been waiting for!

Types of Braces Offered by Westfall Orthodontics

At Westfall Orthodontics, we give you choices—especially when it comes to your smile! Whether you’re into the classic appeal of metal braces or you prefer something less noticeable, we’ve got your back (or should we say your teeth?).

Metal Braces

Let’s start with the old standby: metal braces. They’ve been around long enough to know what they’re doing. Metal braces are reliable and can tackle just about any problem your smile has. Remember those malocclusions? Metal braces can fix those! And hey, with the option to customize your bands with colors, you can make your smile as awesome as your personality!


Clear Braces

Now, if you’re more of a “fly under the radar” type, clear braces might be right up your alley. They do all the heavy lifting of their metal counterparts but in a stealthier way. Made from materials that blend in with your teeth, clear braces are hard for anyone to spot. They are perfect if you want to keep your treatment hush-hush. 


How Do I Know If I Need Braces?

What to Expect During Your Consultation

Wondering what happens during your consultation at Westfall Orthodontics? No sweat! We understand. We have offices in Richlands, Abingdon, and Bristol. When you walk in, we’ll say “hi.” You can unwind in our comfortable lobby for a bit. 

You’ll meet Dr. Westfall or one of our fantastic team members. We’re friendly folks who love to talk—especially about your smile! We’ll start with a few easy questions about your dental and medical history. That’ll help us understand how we can help you. We keep things light and stress-free.

Next up, it’s time for a close-up! We’ll take some pictures and X-rays of your teeth. These images help us see what’s going on under your gumline and between your teeth. We might be able to see problems you’re not aware of. 

After the photos and X-rays, Dr. Westfall will take a look at your teeth and jaw alignment. He’ll check out your bite to look for any gaps or overlaps. The more the doctor knows about what’s wrong, the better he can plan your treatment. Then, he’ll share his findings with you and map out a personalized treatment plan if you need them. Plus, the doctor will answer any and every question you have. 


Still have questions? We’ve got answers! Here are some common queries we get at Westfall Orthodontics about braces and our services.

How long will I need to wear braces?

It depends on your situation. But typically, braces treatment times range from 18 to 24 months. Every smile is different, so after an evaluation, Dr. Westfall can give you a timeline that fits your specific needs.

Do braces hurt?

Braces have come a long way in recent years. Thanks to technology, they’re more comfortable than ever. You might feel a bit of pressure and soreness when they’re first put on and after adjustments. Stick with your orthodontic treatment, trust Dr. Westfall, and you’ll be out of them in no time!

How often will I need check-ups?

Plan to see us every 4 to 6 weeks. These visits are quick—we’ll check on your progress and make an adjustment to keep things moving along.

Can I still play my sport? What about musical instruments?

Absolutely! For sports, we suggest that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces and teeth. As for musical instruments (think trumpets or clarinets), there might be a brief adjustment period as you get comfortable playing with your new braces.

How much do braces cost?

Costs can vary based on the type of braces and the length of treatment. We offer various payment plans to make the process affordable, and we’re happy to work with you to fit your budget.

What’s the difference between metal and clear braces?

Metal braces are more noticeable but incredibly durable. Clear braces are less visible. They blend in with your teeth.


How Do I Know If I Need Braces?

Braces At Westfall Orthodontics

Want to know more about orthodontic treatment in Richlands, Abingdon, or Bristol? Schedule your free consultation with our Westfall Orthodontics team today! Dr. Westfall will answer all your questions and help you get started on your journey to a wonderful smile!