Do you ever look at your friends and think about how lucky they are to have straight teeth? We completely understand. Your smile is a big part of you and if it’s twisted, crooked, or overlapping, then it can give your confidence a knock. Fortunately, luck doesn’t have anything to do with the appearance of teeth. There are several factors that cause teeth to become misaligned, but the good news is that however crooked your smile, teeth can be fixed with orthodontic treatment.
Before we delve into types of treatment, however, it’s worth taking a closer look at what causes crooked teeth.
Causes of Crooked Teeth
- Thumb sucking – Young children often suck their thumb for comfort but unfortunately, consistent pressure from the thumb applied to gums that are still growing can cause the teeth to become misaligned. While thumb sucking isn’t an issue for everyone, It is more likely to cause a problem if the child continues to suck their thumb after they become older.
- Tongue-thrusting – This also has a similar effect to thumb sucking and can again, result in a misaligned bite – in particular an overbite or protruding front teeth.
- Genetics – It’s also possible for children to get their crooked teeth from their parents. If crooked teeth run in the family, then even with the best oral care, it might not be enough.
- Small jaw – Malocclusion or misaligned teeth can also occur when the size of the upper or lower jaw is smaller than usual. Jaws that are misaligned can result in problems such as an underbite where the lower teeth protrude over the upper teeth or an overbite where the upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth.
- Facial injury – A jaw injury during childhood can also result in a misaligned bite or displaced teeth. Because the jaw has shifted slightly from its original position, any future teeth that erupt will often grow out of alignment. A facial injury can also result in tooth loss. As the neighbouring teeth move to close the gap, this also causes crooked teeth.
So, now you know what causes crooked teeth, let’s take a look at some of the problems they initiate.
Problems Caused by Crooked Teeth
- Wear and tear – Misaligned and crooked teeth are more susceptible to wear and tear and can cause chipped tooth enamel and in severe cases, jaw pain.
- Gum disease – When teeth are crooked or crowded, they can become difficult to clean. Over time, this can lead to poor oral health and symptoms such as bad breath, plaque build-up, tooth decay and eventually gum disease.
- Speech difficulties – One of the most common causes of misaligned teeth is an inability to pronounce certain letters or words.
- Chewing difficulties – An inability to properly chew food is another side effect of crooked teeth and could lead to digestive problems further down the line.
- Low self-esteem – People with crooked teeth often suffer from low self-esteem. In fact, teeth that are misaligned can cause poor dental health including stained or discoloured teeth, This, in turn, can make people feel highly embarrassed about their smile
So, why opt for teeth straightening?
While it’s true that straighter teeth improve the appearance of a person’s smile and gives their confidence a boost, teeth straightening is essential to improve both oral and medical health. Severely misaligned teeth can lead to periodontitis which increases the risk of certain medical conditions such as heart disease and strokes should a bacterial infection enter the body through the bloodstream.
Treatment Options for Crooked Teeth
The goal of orthodontic treatment is to correct the appearance and functionality of the teeth as quickly and effectively as possible. Often orthodontics involves wearing braces and while our younger patients don’t mind wearing metal braces, self-conscious teens and adults tend to prefer ceramic braces, also known as clear braces.
Clear braces aren’t as ‘invisible’ as Invisalign for example but because they feature tooth coloured brackets and wires, they are more discreet than metal braces. Clear braces work in the same way as metal braces by applying constant pressure to the teeth to move them into their correct position. However, because of the tooth coloured materials, clear braces cost a little more than metal braces and, depending on the individual, take between 12 and 24 months to achieve the desired results.
So now you know what causes crooked teeth and how they can impact both oral and medical health, isn’t it time you considered teeth straightening?
Remember, you’re never too old for braces and thanks to clear braces, you can straighten your teeth subtly. Get in touch with Randwick Smiles today at (02) 8188 4625 to schedule an orthodontic appointment with our experienced team.