But the good news is, there is a solution. Before we talk about how to treat crooked teeth, let’s chat about what causes them to be misaligned in the first place.
What causes crooked teeth?
There isn’t really one solid cause for crooked teeth. Sometimes, it’s as simple as genetics, but other times a misaligned bite can be linked to our dental care habits and lifestyle choices. Some of the most common underlying causes for crooked teeth are:
Don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal for infants to suck their thumbs. In fact, it’s a natural reflex for little ones and can soothe and comfort them to help them get to sleep.
If your child sucks their thumb, it isn’t necessarily a worry for their teeth. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), thumb-sucking only really becomes a problem after the age of 4. By this age, prolonged sucking might begin to push your child’s developing teeth forward, which can lead to permanent misalignment.
If you have crooked teeth as an adult, it could be a symptom of prolonged thumb-sucking in your childhood.
Smaller jaw sizes can be problematic because there might not be enough space for your teeth to grow into proper alignment, meaning that they grow slightly crooked.
Tooth size and quantity
Teeth that are slightly bigger than average might struggle to grow in perfect alignment. But it’s not just tooth size that can have an impact on the straightness of our teeth.
Most adults have 32 pearly whites, but some develop more than the average number of teeth. Aside from wisdom teeth, there might be too many teeth trying to grow in the jaw, which in turn leads to crowding as they fight to grow into their spot.
Similarly, not everyone develops all 32 teeth. This can create gaps in the jaw that mean other teeth are pushed out of alignment, given the space they have to roam.
Pressing your tongue against your teeth
Our tongues are powerful muscles, so it’s not surprising that they could have influenced the alignment of our teeth during our early years. If your tongue pushed excessively against the back of your teeth as they were still in development, it could have had an effect on the straightness of your teeth.
Losing baby teeth too soon
Usually, baby teeth fall out just before the adult teeth are ready to grow in, so that they grow into the right position. But it doesn’t always work like that and sometimes, baby teeth can fall out too soon, meaning that the adult teeth can drift into the gums rather than growing properly into their proper position.
Is it bad to have crooked teeth?
Mild misalignment of the teeth isn’t usually anything to worry about in terms of your health. But if you’re unhappy with the look of your smile, the option of straightening your teeth is definitely worth considering as it will massively boost your confidence and wellbeing.
More severe misalignment can be problematic for your oral health. There are a number of dental problems caused by severely crooked or crowded teeth, including:
- Chewing difficulties
- Difficulty cleaning the teeth
- Wearing of tooth enamel
- Problems with the gums
If you suffer from any of the above problems, don’t worry. There are a number of solutions to help straighten your teeth, increase your confidence and improve your oral health.
How do you fix crooked teeth?
The most popular way to fix crooked teeth is through the use of orthodontics. But gone are the days of bulky, cumbersome metal braces; nowadays there’s a plethora of discreet adult brace treatments to straighten your smile, such as Invisalign and Six Month Smiles.
Another way to realign crooked teeth is through cosmetic dental treatments such as veneers. Though veneers can’t correct the positioning of your teeth, they can give your smile a straighter appearance, giving you a confidence boost and making you feel a million dollars.
If crooked teeth are taking their toll on your confidence or health, we can help! Our friendly team are on hand to answer any questions you might have, so why not book a consultation? We look forward to hearing from you.