What causes Crooked Teeth and its Treatment?
Aug 7, 2018
Crooked teeth are a common dental issue that can affect both your oral health and confidence.
From genetic factors to bad habits and even age related changes, there are several reasons why teeth can become misaligned. However, thanks to modern orthodontic advancements, there are now numerous treatment options to correct this issue. From traditional braces to invisible aligners, each method offers its own unique benefits and considerations
Causes of Crooked Teeth
Crooked teeth can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, childhood habits, and natural changes that occur as we age.
- Genetical development
Genetics is one of the most common reasons for crooked teeth. It is mostly related to the size of our mouth. The smaller the mouth, greater is the chance of crooked teeth. The jaw development, the skull and the vertebral bone involves cranial disbalance. And hence raises as a factor for crooked teeth. However, misaligned jaws are the center of facial growth and lead to issues of the crookedness of teeth.
When there is insufficient space in the jaw for all the teeth to grow and align properly, overcrowding occurs. This can lead to teeth overlapping or becoming twisted.
- Imperfect habits
It is very commonly seen when breathed through the mouth. The nasal breathing is mostly attached to the proper jaw and teeth development. The expansion of the maxilla and the upper jaw is by the normal breathing through the nose. But if we tend to breathe through the mouth and if it becomes a habit then the obstruction is created to increase the pressure in the airway of the nasal. At this point, it becomes utmost important to consult the doctor to have the breathing pattern corrected.
- Incorrect lip and tongue posture
Poor lip and tongue posture is also a common reason for crooked teeth. Ideally, the lips should rest on each other but if it does not, it’s high time we consult the doctor.
Thumb sucking and usage of pacifiers should mostly be restricted to avoid crooked teeth.
- Age related changes
It can also result in crooked teeth. As we grow older, our teeth tend to shift due to natural factors such as changes in the jawbone structure and gum health. This can cause previously straight teeth to become misaligned. It’s important to understand that even if you had straight teeth in your youth, they may shift as you age, requiring orthodontic treatment to correct the misalignment.
Types of Crooked Teeth
Crooked teeth are those which are simply not the perfect straight ones. The pediatric dentist or orthodontist classify it into broad categories of crooked teeth. They are crossbites and Class II malocclusion. Cross-bites are seen quite common among kids. Cross-bites can also be classified into two categories.
- Anterior cross-bite: This is most common due to thumb sucking where it results in the upper and the lower teeth not meeting each other thereby leaving a gap. But the back teeth meet when bitten together.
- Posterior cross-bite: This is most common in mouth breathers and teeth are gapped with each other.
And the Class II malocclusion is when the lower teeth are set far behind the upper ones. It is seen commonly in mouth breathers.
Impact of Crooked Teeth on Oral Health
Crooked teeth not only affect your appearance but can also have a significant impact on your oral health. Misaligned teeth can make it challenging to clean between the teeth and along the gum line, leading to a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. When teeth are crowded or overlapping, it becomes difficult to reach all the surfaces with a toothbrush or floss, allowing plaque and bacteria to build up. This buildup can eventually lead to cavities and gum inflammation.
It can cause bite problems, such as underbite, overbite, or crossbite. These bite issues can result in uneven wear on the teeth, jaw pain, and difficulty chewing properly. In some cases, a misaligned bite can even lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), causing chronic jaw pain and headaches.
It’s essential to address crooked teeth not only for cosmetic reasons but also to maintain good oral health. Straightening your teeth can make it easier to clean them properly, reducing the risk of dental issues and improving your overall oral hygiene.
Orthodontic Treatments for Crooked Teeth
Fortunately, there are several orthodontic treatments available to straighten crooked teeth. The most well known method is traditional braces. Traditional braces consist of metal brackets that are bonded to the teeth and connected by wires. Over time, these wires exert gentle pressure on the teeth, gradually shifting them into the desired position. Braces are highly effective for correcting even severe cases of misalignment, and the treatment duration varies depending on individual needs.
Another popular option is clear aligners, such as Invisalign. Clear aligners are a discreet alternative to traditional braces. They are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth, exerting gentle pressure to move them into place. Invisalign aligners are removable, making it easier to maintain oral hygiene and enjoy your favorite foods during treatment. The length of Invisalign treatment depends on the complexity of the case, but it typically takes anywhere from several months to a year.
Lingual braces are yet another option for those seeking a more discreet treatment. Lingual braces are like traditional braces but are placed on the backside of the teeth, making them invisible from the front. This option is suitable for individuals who want the effectiveness of braces without the aesthetic concerns associated with visible brackets.
Choosing the Right Orthodontic Treatment
Choosing the right orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth depends on several factors, including the severity of the misalignment, personal preferences, budget, and the recommendation of your orthodontist. It’s important to consult with an experienced orthodontist who can evaluate your specific case and recommend the most suitable treatment option.
During your orthodontic consultation, the orthodontist will conduct a thorough examination, take X-rays, and discuss your treatment goals. They will also explain the different treatment options available, along with their benefits and potential limitations. Based on this information, you can make an informed decision regarding the most appropriate treatment for your crooked teeth.
Invisalign: A Discrete Solution for Straightening Teeth
Invisalign has revolutionised the field of orthodontics with its innovative approach to straightening teeth. This clear aligner system utilizes advanced 3D technology to create a series of custom-made aligners that gradually shift the teeth into their proper position. Invisalign aligners are made from a smooth, BPA-free plastic material that is comfortable to wear and invisible.
One of the key advantages of Invisalign is its removability. Unlike traditional braces, you can take out your aligners when eating, allowing you to enjoy all your favorite foods without restrictions. The ability to remove the aligners makes oral hygiene maintenance much easier since you can brush and floss your teeth as usual.
Invisalign treatment typically involves wearing a series of aligners, with each set being worn for about two weeks before moving on to the next. Throughout the treatment process, you will have periodic check-ups with your orthodontist to monitor progress and receive new sets of aligners. The length of Invisalign treatment varies depending on the complexity of the case, but most people complete their treatment within 12 to 18 months.
While Invisalign offers many benefits, it’s essential to follow the treatment plan provided by your orthodontist diligently. Consistency in wearing the aligners for the recommended duration each day is crucial for achieving the desired results. Failure to comply with the prescribed treatment regimen may prolong the treatment duration or compromise the outcome.
Tips for Maintaining Straightened Teeth
Once you have completed your orthodontic treatment and achieved a straighter smile, it’s important to maintain the results. Here are some tips for maintaining straightened teeth:
- Practice good oral hygiene
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are also essential for maintaining oral health.
- Wear your retainers
After completing orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will provide you with retainers to help prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original position. It’s crucial to wear your retainers as instructed to maintain the results of your treatment.
- Avoid bad habits
Habits like nail-biting, chewing on ice, or using your teeth as tools can put unnecessary pressure on your teeth and potentially cause them to shift. Be mindful of these habits and try to avoid them.
- Protect your teeth
If you play sports or engage in activities that pose a risk of dental injury, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from damage. Accidents or trauma can potentially undo the results of your orthodontic treatment.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
A healthy diet and lifestyle contribute to overall oral health. Limit sugary foods and drinks, quit smoking if you smoke, and stay hydrated to support the health of your teeth and gums.
By following these tips, you can help ensure the longevity of your straightened teeth and enjoy the benefits of your orthodontic treatment for years to come.
Get a confident smile with straighten teeth
Crooked teeth can impact both your oral health and self confidence. Understanding the causes behind crooked teeth and the available treatment options is the first step towards achieving a straighter smile.
Whether you opt for traditional braces, clear aligners like Invisalign, or other alternative treatments, seeking orthodontic intervention can correct misaligned teeth and improve your overall oral health.
Consult with an experienced orthodontist to determine the best treatment option for your specific case.