Why Are My Teeth Crooked?
As much as we all strive for perfection, teeth are designed with purely function in mind. We all desire an attractive, healthy, and straight, white smile, but unfortunately, this is not the case for most. Crooked teeth are more common than not, but thanks to today’s modern advancements in dentistry, especially in the field of orthodontics, it’s entirely possible to achieve the ideal smile you’ve always wanted.
Crooked teeth can be discouraging and have a negative impact on how we live our day-to-day lives. But it’s important to remember that you are not alone and that there are multiple treatment options available to correct your smile. Before discussing the benefits of a straight smile and how patients can achieve this, let’s talk about the early childhood factors contributing to misaligned teeth.
We shouldn’t blame our parents for how our smiles look — but genetics are the most frequent cause of crowded and crooked teeth. Genealogical roots can attribute many of our physical traits and dispositions, but did you know that the same goes for our dental health? One of the main reasons teeth may grow crooked is being genetically predisposed to a small jaw. The size of the jaw plays a significant role in how teeth will develop. With a small jaw, teeth will compete for space in the mouth, leading to overcrowding. On the other hand, if the jaw is large, the teeth may not fill the entire mouth, resulting in gaps. The overall size of the teeth also plays a prominent role. Patients born with larger teeth can experience crowding, while those with smaller teeth can notice spacing issues. Though we can’t alter our genes, there are available solutions that a trip to an orthodontist can provide.
Poor habits during childhood may have affected the appearance of your smile, and it’s encouraged that parents keep a close eye on their child’s oral behaviors. Understandably, thumb sucking is a harmless habit in children, but it could create unwanted, long-term effects. Thumb sucking is attributed to several oral health issues, including crooked teeth, bite problems, speech complications, and abnormal breathing patterns. Additionally, prolonged use of a pacifier or baby bottle can also contribute to significant oral health problems. According to the Canadian Dental Association, an orthodontic screening by the age of seven can help your dentist or orthodontist treat a problem as it develops.
Premature tooth loss
Every child’s mouth develops differently, but timing and order of tooth loss can cause concern. Losing baby teeth too early, even if properly aligned, can cause some to develop misaligned teeth as adults. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the adjacent teeth can often shift into the open space, resulting in the child’s teeth developing crooked. It’s essential to consult with a pediatric dentist who can evaluate the need for a space maintainer. The role of a space maintainer is to hold the adjacent teeth in a stable position so that the permanent replacement tooth can grow in the correct position. To prevent premature tooth loss, it’s essential to stress the importance of proper oral hygiene and ensure that you’re helping maintain the health of your child’s mouth. Regular visits to the dentist are also encouraged, as these visits can play a vital role in detecting and preventing early tooth loss.
The great thing about orthodontic treatment is that it can begin at any age. By initiating treatment and having a complete orthodontic evaluation performed at the first sign of a potential problem, an orthodontist can ensure the best possible treatment option suited to the specific condition and needs of the patient. Treatment options can range anywhere from a simple retainer to surgical treatment if necessary. Children should have an orthodontic exam no later than age seven, and for adults, booking an initial consultation is the first step towards correcting crooked teeth.
Health benefits of a straight smile
It’s crucial to remember that straight teeth are healthy teeth, and most importantly, they are linked to overall health. Gum disease and tooth decay are major oral health issues often found in patients with gingivitis and are solely caused by bacteria and plaque build-up in overcrowded mouths. Since straight teeth are easier to clean, it eliminates the space where debris can become trapped, leading to decay. Additionally, straight teeth experience fewer cavities related to more effortless at-home oral hygiene routines, such as brushing and flossing. With a reduced risk of tooth decay, better gum health, improved overall function, and enhanced self-confidence, why wouldn’t you want to take the necessary steps towards a healthy smile?
Remember, straight teeth matter far beyond aesthetics. Talk to your dentist today about what you can do to maintain and enhance the health of your smile.