Billboards, magazine covers, and movie actors - it can often feel like everywhere we look, we see a beautiful smile with perfectly aligned teeth! While some people are born with teeth in ideal alignment, it's not usually the case! Most people develop some degree of crooked teeth throughout their lifetime. Many different factors play into the alignment of our teeth, and that can cause our teeth to crowd. So what is it that causes crooked and misaligned teeth?
6 Reasons Causes to Crooked Teeth
Just like you can be born with genes that give you great tooth alignment, you can also be born with genes that give you the opposite. It's possible that your smile can be primarily be traced back to one of your parents or grandparents. Some parents aren't surprised when they get the report back from the orthodontist that their child needs early treatment due to a severe underbite. After all, they remember hearing the same diagnosis when they were a child.
Some children inherit large teeth from one parent and a small mouth from their other parent. This size difference between the teeth and the lack of space in the mouth often leads to crowding and misalignment.
Many young children seem to have perfect spacing and alignment, yet when their adult teeth come in, everything seems to go haywire. In these children, we can see that it's not just our genes that make or break our smiles. Our genes affect what we have been born with or without, but our everyday habits are also a big factor in determining our smiles.
Some habits are created in infancy, and while most babies don't have many teeth when the habits form, the ripple effect can be seen on their teeth as they get older. One such example is thumb and finger sucking. Many babies use a pacifier or suck their thumb to comfort and self soothe themselves. While this can seem harmless at the time, it's possible that if it continues into the toddler and childhood years, it can actually lead to the child developing crooked teeth or even an open bite.
Disordered Mouth Habits
Not all habits are as obvious as using a pacifier. Some habits or mouth disorders, such as tongue-thrusting, are more unconscious in nature. Many people are not even aware that their tongue is moving forward when they are swallowing. In tongue-thrusting, the pressure that the tongue puts on the front teeth is very significant. The tongue is a strong muscle, and its forward motion over time can keep the teeth from being able to come into the proper position. Often tongue-thrusters have front teeth that flare out towards or past their lips.
We were each created to breathe through our nose, but that doesn't always happen. Enlarged adenoids and tonsils or small airways can keep us from breathing through our nose, and instead, we breathe through our mouth. Mouth breathing leads to bad breath and gum disease, but it can also lead to a long and narrow palate and jaw due to the mouth being in an open position most of the time. A narrow palate and jaw are concerning because it means less room for teeth, which often means more crowding. Many of these habits listed above can be hard to break, so even after the teeth have been straightened, it is recommended that patients continue to wear retainers to maintain proper teeth alignment.
Also Read: Teeth Whitening Tips for Smile Brighter
An injury or trauma to the face can lead to crooked teeth. Whether you knock out a tooth or suffer from a broken jaw, your smile will be affected. After a facial injury, the remaining teeth will slowly shift into open spaces, and it can happen rather quickly. Finding an orthodontist right away is important so that you can work together to keep your teeth from shifting.
Unhealthy Baby Teeth
Baby teeth are essential for many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons for keeping them healthy is that they maintain space for the adult teeth to come in. If baby teeth aren't well cared for or if they experience trauma, it's possible that they may need to be taken out early. If baby teeth are taken out too early, other teeth can shift into their place and keep permanent teeth from erupting properly.
Why Is It Important To Treat Crooked Teeth?
Fixing crooked teeth is about more than the looks of your smile! Having crooked teeth can create difficulty when brushing and flossing, thus leading to poor oral hygiene. If brushing and flossing isn't being done thoroughly, it could lead to more cavities and problems with gum disease. Over time, decay and gum disease can affect your overall health and even lead to feelings of discomfort and pain in your mouth as well as tooth loss.
Also Read: Teeth Straightening Treatment Options
How Can We Fix Crooked Teeth?
The great news is that no matter the causes of your crooked teeth, we can correct them. Solutions for correcting crooked teeth depends on each person's specific case. For some, the only treatment that is needed for their crooked teeth is invisible teeth aligners. For others, such as those with severe cases or cases that involved facial trauma, surgery may be needed in addition to clear teeth aligners. If you have misaligned teeth, know that there are crooked teeth treatment options available for you.
It's not always easy figuring out what specifically contributed to someone's crooked teeth, and many times it can be a variety of factors. No matter whether it's genes, mouth breathing, or bad habits that have lead to misaligned teeth, the answer is orthodontics. If you're worried about your crooked teeth or that of a family member, contact us so that we can determine the best teeth straightening options for you. It's important to have aligned teeth so that your teeth can do their job properly!