Did you know that nearly one in four Americans have crooked teeth? While this may not seem like a big deal to some people, crooked teeth can actually cause various health problems. This article will discuss the causes of crooked teeth, the concerns they raise, and how to straighten them.
What Causes Crooked Teeth?
There are many reasons why teeth may become crooked. One of the most common causes is genetic factors — if your parents have crooked teeth, there’s a good chance you will too. Other causes of crooked teeth include:
1. Injury to the Jawbone
One of the most common causes of crooked teeth is an injury to the jawbone. When the jawbone is injured, it can cause the teeth to misalign.
2. Thumb Sucking
Thumb sucking is another common cause of crooked teeth. When children suck their thumb, it can cause the teeth to shift out of alignment.
3. Poor Oral Hygiene
If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth and gums. This can cause the teeth to shift out of alignment.
4. Poor Diet
A poor diet can also cause crooked teeth. Eating too many sugary snacks and drinks can lead to tooth decay and misalignment.
5. Mouth Breathing
Mouth breathing is another common cause of crooked teeth. When people breathe through their mouths instead of their noses, it can cause the teeth to shift out of alignment.
How Concerned Should You Be About Crooked Teeth?
While crooked teeth may not seem like a big deal to some people, they can actually cause various health problems. For example, crooked teeth can lead to:
1. Gum Pain
Crooked teeth can cause gum pain because they make it difficult to chew and speak properly. When you try to speak or chew, your teeth grind against each other, which can lead to pain and inflammation.
2. Joint Pain
Crooked teeth can also cause joint pain, especially in the jawbone. This is because when the teeth are crooked, they don’t fit together properly, which can cause the joints to become strained.
3. Dental Problems
Crooked teeth can also lead to other dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease. This is because when the teeth are crooked, it’s difficult to keep them clean and free of plaque and bacteria.
4. Poor Self-Esteem
Crooked teeth can also lead to poor self-esteem, especially if you’re self-conscious about your appearance. This is because crooked teeth are often seen as a cosmetic concern.
How to Straighten Crooked Teeth
If you’re concerned about your crooked teeth, don’t worry — there are many ways that can help straighten crooked teeth. Some of the most common ways to straighten teeth include:
Braces are the most common way to straighten crooked teeth. They work by wearing a metal brace on your teeth that gradually pulls them into alignment. While braces can be a bit uncomfortable at first, they are an effective way to straighten teeth.
Invisalign is a newer type of orthodontics appliance that uses a series of clear plastic aligners to straighten teeth. Unlike braces, Invisalign is virtually invisible and can be removed for eating and brushing.
3. Dental Implants
Dental implants are a surgical procedure that involves inserting metal posts into the jawbone to hold the teeth in place. Implants are a good option for people who have severe crookedness or bite problems.
Orthodontics surgery is a last resort option that involves surgically moving the teeth into position. This is only recommended for people with extreme cases of crooked teeth.
How to Prevent Crooked Teeth
While there are many ways to straighten crooked teeth, the best way to prevent them from becoming crooked in the first place is to practice good oral hygiene. You can do this by brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day and seeing your dentist for regular checkups. You should also avoid eating sugary snacks and drinks and try to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth. Other tips for preventing crooked teeth include:
1. Using a Pacifier
If your child is still sucking their thumb, try to wean them off of it as soon as possible. Thumb-sucking can cause the teeth to shift out of alignment.
2. Avoiding Baby Bottles
Giving your baby a bottle at bedtime can also cause the teeth to shift out of alignment. Try to wean your baby off of bottles by 12 months old.
3. Using a Mouth Guard
If you play sports, it’s important to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth from becoming crooked. A good mouthguard will fit snugly and keep your teeth from grinding against each other.
We hope this article has helped educate you on the causes and concerns of crooked teeth, as well as how to straighten them. So if you’re concerned about your crooked teeth, don’t wait — seek treatment today!