We all seem to have a friend who was simply born with perfectly straight teeth, but that certainly isn’t the norm. Most people develop some degree of crooked teeth throughout their lifetime because there are so many factors that can cause them to crowd or come in at an angle.
If you have crooked teeth, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, you’re part of the majority, and in many cases there isn’t anything you could have done to prevent it.
We can’t pick our parents, but they have a big role in our lives starting with our genetic makeup. Sometimes poor jaw development or a small mouth are simply inherited (thanks, mom).
A person born with a misaligned jaw may develop irritating underbites, overbites, and crossbites. With an underbite, the lower teeth fall in front of the upper teeth when the mouth and jaw are closed. An overbite means the upper teeth are too far over the lower teeth, and a crossbite involves at least one tooth that is tilting toward either the cheek or tongue.
With the teeth out of position, they tend to stick out. These conditions can also make it difficult to chew and cause headaches.
Being born with a small mouth is another genetic misfortune that can cause our teeth to crowd and move around to make room for each other.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association looks into orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) because they often lead to problems with tongue movement and speech. They define OMDs as “abnormal movement patterns of the face and mouth,” such as:
It takes some time for babies to learn how to control their tongues. You’ve probably noticed the way they tend to push out their tongue when they talk, drink, or eat. But if they continue those behaviors for too long, they won’t develop the necessary muscles and bones in their face and mouth.
While sucking on thumbs and fingers has a calming and soothing effect on young children, it can affect teeth alignment. Even pacifiers and bottles can have a negative impact on a child’s teeth if they are used for too long.
When you think of respiratory issues, you probably don’t think about how they impact teeth. But common allergies and asthma can lead to prolonged periods of open-mouth breathing, which contributes to jaw misalignment, incorrect facial development, and crooked teeth.
Any crash, fall, or fight can lead to facial trauma that may cause crooked teeth. Any injury to the jaw or mouth can interfere with your smile, whether you knock out a tooth or knock your jaw out of alignment.
When you lose a tooth, the remaining teeth begin to move into all that new space. This is your body’s way of healing, and it can happen rather quickly. If you are injured in a way that impacts your jaw or teeth, it’s important to see an orthodontist right away. They can help solve the issue before your teeth begin to shift.
Baby teeth need to be kept intact and healthy long enough to allow the permanent teeth to form properly. If your baby teeth come out too early, your permanent teeth may come up crooked and out of place. Trauma or decay can both cause a baby to lose their teeth prematurely.
Fixing crooked teeth is about much more than vanity. Over time, they can affect your overall health, and lead to discomfort and pain. You may even have trouble chewing. Wide gaps and spaces in your gums can also cause gum disease and tooth decay. It becomes more difficult to properly brush and floss when your teeth are unevenly spaced.
If money is holding you back from fixing crooked teeth, you might justify it with the high cost of other medical issues that may arise if they are left out of place. In the long run, treating issues of plaque build up and jaw pain will cost much more than straightening your teeth as soon as possible.
One of our favorite reasons to fix crooked teeth is to give you the confidence to smile. It’s a simple, beautiful expression of joy that too many people miss out on as they try to hide their teeth. Too many children and adults are self-conscious about their teeth. It’s never too late to love your smile and show it off as often as you can.
The great news is that regardless of what caused your crooked teeth, you can correct them. Whether it was your genes, a myo-functional problem, a respiratory issue, or an injury, you deserve to put it behind you and be proud of your smile. Even one crooked tooth is worth fixing if it means a healthier, more confident you.
Depending on how crooked your teeth are, your options include braces, invisible teeth aligners, or even surgery in severe cases. Consulting with an orthodontist can help you decide which option is best.
While many doctors need to take x-rays to properly examine your teeth and jaw alignment, NewSmile's process skips that step. The first thing we do is send you an impression kit which can be done from home whenever you have the time. It takes less than 30 minutes to complete, and our dental team use the impression to determine how long your treatment will be. From there, we will send you your aligners with instructions on how often to wear them, and you will begin seeing your smile improve.
It’s not always easy to determine what causes crooked teeth, but it’s comforting to know they can always be straightened. If you’re ready to save time and money, and start fixing your crooked teeth without everybody commenting on your braces, choose a NewSmile plan today.