When it comes to your smile, what bothers you the most? Do you feel awkward when a camera comes out or when we see your pictures? According to a recent study, crooked teeth can have the biggest impact on your self-esteem.
No doubt, a healthy smile is a reflection of good dental health. But it is also an indication of good overall health. If the alignment of your teeth is crooked, it might be a source of embarrassment. It could also be the reason for your lack of confidence.
Whatever be the reason, you should seek orthodontic treatment. You can also have a number of health-related issues that might arise due to crooked teeth.
Crooked or misaligned teeth is a common disorder seen among children and adults. If your teeth are crooked, you should get them straightened to avoid complications later.
If you are unhappy with your teeth or if they are causing health issues, you can have them realigned.
Read below to find out why teeth come in crooked and the related health problems. And the latest techniques used to align them.
What Causes Crooked Teeth?
Both baby teeth and permanent teeth can become crooked. Baby teeth sometimes become crooked because they do not find enough gum space to grow. This normally happens when the allocated space between two teeth is less.
Prolonged habits, such as sucking on a pacifier or thumb, can also cause baby teeth to be pushed out. It can also happen because of heredity and genetic reasons.
If your child has crooked baby teeth, it does not mean that their permanent teeth will also be crooked. However, if the baby teeth grow crowded there are chances of the permanent teeth being crooked.
In case of trauma or tooth decay, crooked baby teeth fall off sooner. Then the permanent teeth that will follow may grow out of the gums slanted.
There could be other issues affecting your baby teeth that can affect the permanent teeth as well:
1 Diet and Poor Nutrition
The modern diet is stuffed with processed food that is easy to chew. On the other hand, our early ancestors consumed more leafy veggies and lean meat that required more chewing.
Children and adults often consume soft or processed food excessively over a long period. This reduces the amount of chewing activity in their mouth.
This can alter the collective jaw size making it smaller in size. It is believed that the shorter jaw often leads to misaligned or crowded teeth.
In addition, poor nutrition, especially in children, may lead to tooth decay. Poor dental development is a potential trigger for crooked teeth.
2 Poor Myofunctional Habits
Myofunctional habits are repetitive behaviors that affect the functions or muscles of your mouth or face.
Repetitive behaviors in children like sucking on the thumb or pacifier can lead to their teeth becoming crooked. Other behaviors such as tongue thrusting or mouth breathing for long can result in misaligned teeth.
Sometimes, the baby teeth in infants move into crooked positions because of a lack of enough gum space. These include:
- Thumb sucking
- Use of pacifier or bottle
- Tongue thrusting
- Mouth breathing
3 Malocclusion or Misaligned Jaw
When you close your mouth and the teeth – both the jaws do not fit properly over each other. The resulting condition is called a malocclusion or a misaligned jaw.
The different types of malocclusion include underbite and overbite.
In case of an underbite disorder, your lower front teeth protrude out farther away from your upper front teeth. Whereas in an overbite, the opposite happens. Your upper front teeth jut out away from the lower jaw.
The points of your upper molars should fit into the grooves of your lower molars. When this alignment does not occur malocclusion results.
4 Genetics and Heredity
If your parents had crooked or crowded teeth, it is possible that you will have it too. It has been seen that you may also inherit an overbite or underbite from your parents.
5 Facial Injury
Forceful blow to your face or mouth can knock teeth out of place. This can result in one or more teeth being misaligned.
Issues Caused by Crooked Teeth
In some people, crooked teeth can affect their quality of life. Your misaligned teeth might affect your ability to chew, causing long-lasting pain every time you eat.
There are people who feel so self-conscious about their crooked teeth that they stop smiling or avoid social gatherings.
Some of the health issues linked to crooked teeth are:
1 Periodontal disease. At times it can be hard to clean the spaces between your crooked teeth. This can lead to gum disease and tooth decay in the long term. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to periodontitis overtime. It is a more serious infection that can badly damage your bones and teeth.
2 Chewing and digestion. Your crooked teeth can also interfere with the proper chewing of your food. Chewing difficulties may cause digestion problems. Crooked teeth can affect your oral health negatively.
3 Excess wear. Crooked teeth can also cause excessive wear and tear on the teeth, gums, and jaw muscles. This could result in conditions like cracked teeth, temporomandibular joint disorder, jaw strain and chronic headaches.
4 Speech difficulties. Crooked teeth can cause speech problems. Your teeth are a vital element of proper speech and articulation. If your teeth are misaligned or crooked they can affect the way you articulate sound, thus causing problems with your speech. There are certain sounds and words that are very challenging to pronounce if your teeth are crooked.
5 Self-esteem. Your crooked teeth can have a big impact on your self-esteem. Unhappiness with your physical appearance will automatically lead to a lack of self-esteem and social avoidance. Hence you should get your teeth straightened and improve your smile by consulting your dentist.
Options for Straightening Crooked Teeth
If you have decided that straightening your teeth is the right choice for you, then there are several alternatives. You can discuss with your dentist or orthodontist the different procedures available to improve your smile.
Braces are a great option for any age, provided your teeth and gums are strong enough to hold them. Braces are also a good choice for children who still have malleable gums and bone tissues.
Depending on the type of braces you choose, your treatment option will vary anything between 2-3 years. You also have the option of teeth-straightening surgery. It typically takes less time to achieve desired results.
Listed below are the different types of dental braces you can opt for as well as surgical options.
1 Metal Braces for Crooked Teeth
Fixed metal braces are attached to your teeth with bands, brackets, and flexible wire. Your dentist might use these braces if you have more complex dental teeth alignment issues.
Sometimes your dentist might also recommend headgear in addition to fixed braces. Orthodontic headgear is typically worn at night.
Metal braces have come a long way since they were invented. Dentists today use smaller brackets that have less metal.
They are also more comfortable and can be worn even by kids. They even come with multicolored rubber bands that you can choose to match your personality.
2 Ceramic Braces for Crooked Teeth
Ceramic braces and the archwires that connect them are clear or tooth-colored. Hence they are not easily visible in your mouth as compared to metal brackets.
The straightening process is the same for both ceramic braces and metal brackets. But your ceramic brackets are prone to staining and could break easily.
However, ceramic braces are less painful on your gums and cheeks because the ceramic is not as harsh. That’s why they are more popular.
3 Invisible Braces
Invisible braces such as Invisalign are nearly invisible when you wear them. They are designed to be worn by teens and adults only.
The clear plastic invisible braces are custom-made to fit your mouth. They fit over your whole teeth set just like a mouthguard. They are removed and replaced twice every month. Your dentist will not recommend this procedure if you have severe tooth alignment corrections.
Invisible braces generally take longer to straighten your teeth than traditional braces. And hence they are expensive.
4 Lingual Braces
Lingual braces are only another form of invisible braces. The lingual surface is the inner side of your teeth that faces your tongue.
These lingual braces are similar to traditional metal braces. Except that they are attached at the back of your sides of your teeth.
Lingual braces are not for everyone. They are expensive and are difficult to clean. Hence your dentist recommends them in case of severe misalignment of your teeth.
Lingual braces may take longer to work and are harder to get used to wearing.
5 Teeth Straightening Surgery for Crooked Teeth
Surgical procedures to straighten your teeth is another viable option. They could be a way to reduce the amount of time needed to wear braces. Your orthodontist might suggest a minor surgical procedure for your misaligned teeth.
He might also recommend a procedure designed to realign your jaw. This is called orthognathic surgery. This kind of dental surgery is only recommended if your teeth have affected your chewing ability or your speech.
Crooked teeth is a commonly occurring problem observed in many children, teens, and adults. If you have crooked, misaligned or uneven teeth, orthodontic treatment can drastically improve the way your teeth look and work.
The disorder does not require treatment unless it is causing health problems or self-esteem issues. The decision to correct your misaligned teeth is a personal one. If cost is an issue, talk to your dentist.
If you want to fix crooked or misaligned teeth, get in touch with us at REPC Dubai today. We have a team of experienced professionals solely dedicated to providing exceptional dental care. So that you enjoy a healthy and perfect smile.