Not all of us are born with perfect aligned teeth. In an ideal world, all your teeth should be aligned properly, fit comfortably inside your mouth without any spaces or misalignment. However, this is not the case with most of us. This is commonly referred to as malocclusion.
Other than the value of making your teeth look better, misaligned teeth may lead to dental problems. Teeth which are spaced too far can lead to the gums becoming irritated and inflamed when eating. On the other hand, crowded teeth makes it harder to clean such as flossing which can eventually lead to plaque build-up with a possible complication of developing cavities. On the other hand, twisted teeth can also be hard to clean thereby affecting the ability to bite leading to excessive wear on the teeth.
What causes crooked teeth?
Thumb Sucking – Children who suck their thumb for several years often end with crooked teeth. The pressure from the thumb consistently applied to the still-growing gums causes the teeth to grow in crooked, especially outwards. The problem of crooked teeth is more likely if this habit continues until the toddler age.
Tongue Thrusting – Tongue thrusting has the same effect on the teeth as thumb sucking. It can result in misaligned bites, especially an overbite, i.e., protruding upper teeth.
Misaligned Teeth – Misaligned teeth or malocclusion is caused when the size of the upper or the lower jaw is smaller than usual. Misaligned jaws result in problems such as overbite and underbite. In an overbite, the upper set of teeth protrudes over the lower teeth, and in an underbite, the lower set of teeth protrudes over the upper teeth.
Genetics – Children often get crooked teeth from their parents. If the crooked teeth problem runs down in the family, the children are likely to have crooked permanent teeth too despite following good oral care habits.
Facial Injury – Facial trauma, such as a jaw injury in childhood, can result in displaced teeth or misaligned bites. The reason is the jaw shifting slightly from its original position, which causes the teeth to grow in crooked. Facial injuries may also result in tooth loss. And when there is open space in a jaw, the rest of the teeth tend to shift to cover that space.
How can we fix crooked or misaligned teeth?
While it is true that straighter teeth improve your cosmetic look and can boost confidence, it is critical in cases of extreme teeth misalignment which can lead to periodontitis, which is one of the reasons of heart disease. Infection of the teeth below the gums can cause a bacteria to enter into the heart blood stream thereby affecting the heart valves and the risk of heart attack.Here are some excellent reasons to straighten your teeth.
- It is easier to keep your teeth and gums clean
- You will reduce the wear and tear on your teeth from clenching and grinding
- You reduce the chances of damaging your gums
- There is less stress on the jaw joint from bad biting patterns
Braces – Braces are a type of an orthodontic appliance that includes brackets, bands, and wires. Braces when fitted properly exert a constant pressure on the jaw over an extended period. This in turn makes the jaw adapt to the pressure in a certain direction causing it to move into the desired position.
There are three types of braces, metal braces, ceramic braces, and lingual braces. It is recommended to talk to an orthodontist who can advise you of the best teeth alignment solution for you based on the results of your oral examination. Do you know that Malouf Dental offers Fastbraces, which reduces the time to get the results you want? Click here to book an appointment.
Invisalign – Invisalign is basically invisible braces. It is a teeth straightening method which uses modern 3-D computer imaging technology to develop a series of invisible and custom-made plastic aligners of a patient’s teeth and smile to develop a corrected and new smile design. Invisalign is an aesthetical and comfortable alternative to braces. There are no metal brackets, no wires and no bands required during your Invisalign treatment. Do you want more details about Invisalign? Click here to book an appointment.
What is the best time to have orthodontic treatment?
Most people have the misconception that teeth straightening is for children and teens. However, anyone can benefit from orthodontic treatment, including adults.
Treatment usually starts for most people however from about the age of 12 when the baby teeth of childhood are replaced by a full set of adult, or permanent teeth. If you think you or your child’s teeth need treatment, talk to us and we will advise you if the procedure is needed and when they should start.
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