You may already be familiar with the different types of orthodontic treatment and the ways it can fix your smile, but why exactly do teeth get crooked in the first place?
Teeth Crookedness Explained
A general term like “crookedness” is a bit broad when trying to understand orthodontic correction and how it works. Crooked teeth not only affect the appearance of your smile but they also negatively affect your oral health. If you have crooked teeth, you’ll most likely be able to tell when you smile. But you could have a relatively straight smile and still have more subtle crookedness that requires orthodontic treatment.
Generally speaking, the most common cause of crooked teeth is crowding. This is exactly what it sounds like and is the consequence of not having enough space for your teeth in your jaw. This results in uneven positioning of your teeth, with some teeth even becoming rotated as they try to fit in to a tight space. Other times, teeth will stick outward or inward.
So what causes this crowding in the first place?
The most common culprit of crooked teeth is simply the genes you inherited from your parents. If your parents had crooked teeth, you’ll likely end up with a similarly shaped jaw and resulting crookedness as them. But beyond genetic factors, there are other reasons your teeth might be crooked.
Early childhood behaviors can also affect the shape of your jaw and how your teeth come in. If a child continues to suck their thumb after the age of four, this habit can start to interfere with how their baby teeth fall out and their jaw shape due to the excessive pressure created in the jaw. Late bottle-feeding and pacifier use can also lead to this problem.
Another childhood habit that can cause crooked teeth is tongue thrusting, which is pressing the tongue against the teeth, sometimes due to anxiety, but not always. Not only can this cause baby teeth to fall out early, it can also disrupt how the adult teeth come in.
If someone experiences an injury to the jaw, it can affect the shape of their jaw and cause crooked teeth later on. If a baby tooth was knocked out, this can also interfere with the normal way adult teeth are supposed to erupt, causing crowding or perhaps even impacted teeth. If a child gets an injury to the jaw when they are young, they may require early orthodontics to avoid needing surgery later on in life. Getting hit in the mouth with a ball or other object can also displace the teeth themselves, resulting in a crooked alignment.
No matter what causes your crooked teeth, you can get a perfect smile with orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign. By straightening your teeth, you can smile with confidence and enjoy better oral health thanks to reduced chances of tooth decay.
Contact Crescent Orthodontic Specialists today to learn more about how orthodontic treatment straightens teeth and to schedule a free consultation.