A beautiful smile constitutes an attractive personality. Be it in a personal space or professional space; a good smile plays an important role in an individual’s first impression. Crooked teeth badly hamper the smile and maybe someone’s reason for low confidence. The emergence of these crooked teeth starts at an early age during childhood when most parents even do not know that their child could have crooked teeth in the future. There are several reasons for crooked teeth. Knowing them can prevent the occurrence of crooked teeth.
What Are the Reasons Behind the Crooked Teeth?
Early Loss of Baby Tooth:
Baby teeth hold the space for permanent teeth. Damage to the space reserved for each permanent tooth occurs when a baby tooth falls out before its natural time. When this happens, the adjacent teeth try to occupy the space formed after the tooth loss, and they start migrating to that space. In this case, when a permanent tooth erupts due to lack of space, it will not appear straight; instead, it will appear in a misaligned position. Because of this reason, crooked teeth appear.
Children who have the habit of thumb-sucking past the age of five hampers their dentition and results in crooked teeth. Thumb sucking actually disturbs the development pattern of permanent teeth and makes the front teeth appear protruding. Additionally, it can also make the upper jaw to become narrow in shape. Furthermore, this habit can result in an open bite.
Tongue Thrusting Habit:
Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting have the same effect on the teeth. It can cause misaligned bites, particularly an overbite (buck teeth) or protruding upper teeth.
Mouth breathing results in a hypotonic upper lip which can result in gummy smiles. It also alters the position of the permanent teeth and results in crooked teeth.
Genetics can also be a reason for the occurrence of crooked teeth. Parents with crooked teeth can pass them on to their offspring. Most siblings often have a common type of misalignment of teeth.
Poor Oral Health:
Poor oral health can result in gum disease and cavities, making the teeth fall out early and leading to crooked teeth.
Use of Pacifiers:
A lengthy and regular sucking habit might lead to crooked teeth or bite issues. The longer the behavior persists, the more likely your kid will require braces treatment. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises against using pacifiers after the age of three.
Trauma or Injury:
Sports and other accidents can create misaligned teeth. Sports injury is very common in kids. Hence, emergency dental care should be sought after a trauma.
How Crooked Teeth Can Be Fixed?
If you already have crooked teeth, the next option is treatment. The best treatment is the orthodontic treatment (braces treatment). The sooner, the better. It holds best for braces treatment. Most orthodontists prefer to start braces treatment after the eruption of all permanent teeth. Hence, they prefer to put on braces, usually between 12 to 14 years of age. At this age, the bone is growing; hence, the treatment outcome could be better. The braces come in different types which are discussed below.
These are the conventional braces that have been used for ages and are most commonly used. They offer good strength, but they lack esthetics. Some individuals do not like the metal smile it gives after wearing it.
These are the options for those individuals who do not want a metallic smile from braces. They are made up of ceramic and are white in color. Hence, they fulfill the esthetic concern of the patient.
These braces are placed on the back side of the teeth. They are hidden behind your teeth. However, they are not often advised for teeth that are significantly crooked or misaligned. These braces could be more difficult to wear and may take longer to start working.
There are new advances in braces treatment and currently the choice of treatment for many individuals, and that’s teeth aligners called Invisalign. They look like transparent mouth guard. These clear or translucent trays (called clear aligners) are made specifically to fit over the patient’s teeth. The patients will have to switch between different clear aligners made by the orthodontist until their teeth finally move into the proper place. Since Invisalign aligners are clear and virtually invisible, adults frequently choose them. However, braces are a more cost-effective option due to Invisalign’s greater price.
Quick Facts About the Orthodontic Treatment
- In case of crowding of teeth, some teeth need to be extracted to create space for the tooth’s movement.
- The duration of the brace’s treatment could be from one year to three years. However, it can be more dependent upon the individual’s case.
- After the braces treatment, the patient has to wear a retainer to maintain the result obtained by the treatment. Failure to wear the retainer will result in relapse.
- Some cases might require minor surgery if a canine or other tooth is impacted or a supernumerary or root stumps of the deciduous teeth are present. Some cases might require jaw surgery if the jaw size is too small or have other concerns with the bite. These are called orthognathic surgery.
How to Prevent the Occurrence of Crooked Teeth?
It is possible to prevent the occurrence of crooked teeth. The only thing that requires awareness regarding the same among parents. Below are the ways of prevention.
- Maintaining good oral hygiene for kids, including brushing twice. This will prevent the early loss of the baby tooth and will prevent misaligned teeth.
- Visiting a dentist as soon as possible in case of early loss of the baby tooth. The dentist will put space maintainers on the teeth to preserve the permanent teeth’ space.
- A regular visit to the dentist will help in identifying the habits like mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, and thumb sucking. The dentist could provide appliances to break these habits to prevent crooked teeth.
To conclude, it is possible to prevent and treat crooked teeth with good results. The dentist can best advise the appropriate treatment for an individual among the various options available for the treatment of crooked teeth.