May 2, 2023
Do you often feel self-conscious about your smile? Do you try to hide your mouth when talking to someone new? Do you keep deleting photos of yourself because you are unhappy with your teeth? You are not alone.
Crooked Teeth: Are They Okay?
Do you often feel self-conscious about your smile? Do you try to hide your mouth when talking to someone new? Do you keep deleting photos of yourself because you are unhappy with your teeth?
You are not alone. Nine in 10 people have teeth that are at least slightly misaligned or maloccluded. And 8 in 10 people have low self-esteem because of their imperfect smiles.
While crooked teeth should not affect your confidence and how someone perceives you, it is essential to correct such teeth. Here’s why:
Increased susceptibility to diseases:
Crooked teeth are harder to clean and might lead to plaque build-up in places your brush cannot reach. Plaque, when left untouched, causes problems like dental decay and gum disease.
Easily affected during injury:
A crooked tooth is more likely to get chipped or fall out in case of injury. Crooked teeth cause excess strain to the jaw and jaw muscles; therefore, when the jaw experiences pressure, a crooked tooth will be the first to break.
Crooked teeth could also be a result of a misaligned bite or malocclusion. Malocclusion refers to improper alignment (occlusion) of teeth and is seen in the forms of crowded teeth, overbite teeth, crossbite teeth, underbite teeth, or open bite teeth. These usually happen when your teeth don’t fit your mouth correctly. Having any of these is a severe cause of concern. They might cause difficulty chewing, accidentally biting the tongue or inner cheek, or speech problems like a lisp. Therefore, a misaligned bite must be addressed by talking to a professional.
What Causes Crooked Teeth?
- Thumb-sucking, Pacifier, Bottle Feeding
Excessive thumb-sucking and pacifier use add pressure to the developing gums and result in teeth becoming crooked. Parents should make their kids lose the habit before entering the toddler stage. The same thing goes for prolonged bottle feeding.
- Early loss of milk teeth
Milk teeth act as placeholders for permanent teeth. If a tooth falls out prematurely, neighboring teeth will slightly shift in their place, leaving little space for the permanent teeth to come out properly.
Trauma to your jaw may result in the displacement of teeth.
Malocclusion or crooked teeth can be in your genes, so if your parents or grandparents have crooked teeth, you could have inherited them.
Treatments for Crooked Teeth
There are many ways to straighten your teeth. Crooked teeth are likely to get worse over time; therefore, it is vital to treat them early. Speak to your dentist, who will help you figure out the best option for you.
Braces come in metal or ceramic. They are a perfect option for children because of their flexible gums and bones. They are tightly worn and therefore apply pressure to the jaw, causing the teeth to slowly shift in place over two to three years.
These are clear, transparent aligners custom-made to fit your teeth and work the same way as braces. They need to be replaced frequently and are an option more suitable for adults.
- Teeth straightening surgery
This is a quicker option for straightening your teeth. This is recommended only if the misalignment of teeth is causing severe speech or eating problems. Depending on the state of your teeth, the dental surgeon will form the surgery plan.