Crooked or misaligned teeth are fairly common these days, for both children and adults. Both the primary and secondary teeth may erupt in a disorderly way or become crowded over time, sometimes due the ageing process alone.
Crooked teeth may or may not cause any problems for the person and if they are not concerned about them from an aesthetic point of view, there may be no urgency to straighten them. However, adults are often cosmetically more conscious and may feel embarrassed with their crooked teeth. Apart from this, crooked teeth may cause trouble while performing normal functions like biting, chewing, or even speaking. When such circumstances begin to make you feel uncomfortable with your crooked teeth, consulting your dentist and finding the best way to straighten them is the ultimate choice.
What causes your teeth to become crooked?
There can be plenty of causes that lead to crooked teeth. The primary teeth may become crooked because they are relatively small in comparison to the gum space within the mouth to fit appropriately. Having crooked primary teeth doesn’t mean that the permanent teeth will follow the same path. The permanent teeth may be perfectly normal if the conditions that were leading to primary crooked teeth are reversed. Such conditions which affect the alignment of teeth are:
- Genetics: The anatomy of your upper and lower jaw is a major determinant of the alignment of your teeth. If you have ‘malocclusion, ’ a condition where upper and lower jaws are disproportionate, you are most likely to have crooked teeth and a ‘bad bite.’ Genetics, therefore, play a pivotal role in deciding the anatomy of your mouth, and hence, the crooked teeth.
- Jaw size: If your jaw is small to accommodate your teeth, there is a probability that your teeth will be crowded and hence, crooked. Some scientists claim that with new eating habits which require less chewing, our jaws are evolving into smaller ones over time, and the problem of crooked teeth is increasing.
- Myofunctional habits: These are the repetitive actions that children perform, such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing, or tongue thrusting. Bottle feeding for prolonged durations is another cause. All of these lead to crooked primary teeth in children. If some of these habits, such as thumb sucking, persist till adolescence, then the permanent teeth can also become crooked.
- Trauma: Injury to the face is a common extrinsic cause of crooked teeth. It may lead to the fracture of jawbones or the teeth, and ultimately they become misaligned.
- Poor nutrition: Malnutrition can lead to poor development of teeth and jawbones in children. It may also lead to infection and then decay of the teeth.
- Neglecting dental care: Dental care and maintenance of good oral hygiene lies at the root of protecting you from severe dental issues. If neglected, it may lead to many dental anomalies; and crooked teeth are one of them.
What Problems do Crooked Teeth cause?
Crooked teeth and misaligned bites can cause several problems. Apart from cosmetic issues, functional issues are also needed to be tackled. These include:
- Problem with proper chewing and biting
- Dental hygiene becomes a challenge, and the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis increases significantly.
- It puts a strain on the teeth, jaws, and muscles, thus increasing the risk of tooth fracture.
- The crooked teeth may lead to injury of the surrounding soft tissues.
- It causes bad breath as the food particles often get trapped between the overlapped teeth and become a substrate for the growth of bacteria.
- Speech difficulties: The orientation and articulation of your teeth are adversely affected by crooked teeth.
- Problems with digestion: When you won’t be able to chew your food correctly, it will often lead to problems with digestion.
How to straighten crooked teeth naturally?
With advancing technology, there are plenty of options available to straighten your crooked teeth and restore your perfectly aligned smile. Orthodontic treatments can range from a duration of 2-3 years, but the results are incredibly effective. You can use prostheses like braces, or if the teeth are severely crooked, surgical intervention has to be done.
Here are the options to choose from:
- Metallic braces: These are traditional braces and have been used for straightening teeth since a very long time now. They use bands and brackets to fix the braces to the teeth. These are the most affordable among all the options, but their extensive metallic glint is cosmetically unpleasant, and people are switching to aesthetically favourable options over them.
- Ceramic braces: These are tooth coloured – braces, and are similar in function and structure to the metallic braces. Being tooth coloured, they are less noticeable and therefore, cosmetically better than traditional metallic braces.
- Invisalign braces: These are the most widely used braces nowadays. They consist of a series of removable aligners customised according to your teeth, and they are totally invisible. You have to wear them for around 20 hours per day. The results obtained with Invisalign braces are quick and effective. They are slightly expensive but give you a flawless smile in the most natural way.
- Lingual braces: These are metallic braces but are attached to the inner aspects of the teeth and hence, not visible from outside. They support your teeth from behind and gradually push them to make them aligned.
- Palatal expanders: These are attached to the palate and expand the arch of the upper teeth. This makes sufficient space for the upper teeth to accommodate properly in their natural positions. These are invisible but may cause some degree of discomfort.
- Retainers: These can be removable or fixed. Fixed retainers are attached behind your teeth with the help of dental cement and straighten them gradually.
- Dental contouring: The tooth is shaped in the desired way with the help of tooth-coloured resin.
With this diverse range of treatment modalities, it is advisable that you consult your dentist who will do a thorough checkup before deciding which option will suit you the most.
How to straighten one crooked tooth?
If you have just one crooked tooth, then the thought of wearing a full set of bulky braces might be repulsing. If you are wondering how to straighten one crooked tooth without braces, then, there are other treatment options which can help you in correcting the single crooked tooth without the use of a full set of braces. Such options include Invisalign clear braces which can straighten your teeth in a short duration as compared to other methods.
These are invisible and will provide a completely natural restoration in the shortest time.
Accelerated orthodontics is now coming up in which braces are combined with other options like use of cytokines, and your teeth will be straightened rapidly. With these treatments, you will not have to wear braces for several years.
Veneers can be used as a cover for the misaligned teeth which is bonded and provides a cosmetic restoration.
Can braces really fix crooked teeth?
Braces have been used for the correction of misaligned teeth for a long time. The time of treatment varies from person to person and also on the type of braces chosen. But braces are widely accepted as tooth aligners, and the results are very effective.
How can you fix severely crooked teeth?
Tooth straightening surgery is the last option when other treatment modalities are unable to correct your crooked teeth. In the surgery, your gums and bone are repositioned to make your teeth aligned properly. This is mostly avoided because any surgical intervention will have its own risks and hazards.
Can teeth be straightened in adults?
Yes, there is no age barrier to straightening your teeth. You can get your teeth straightened at any age, but a few criteria have to be met. You should have healthy gums and good oral hygiene. Severely damaged and decayed teeth are prone to become more fragile after using braces.
How to care for braces?
Good oral hygiene is the key to increasing the longevity of your braces. Clean your braces regularly and floss them to remove any food particle stuck in them. Invisalign braces provide you with the flexibility of removing while eating food; therefore, they require less maintenance.
Which is the cheapest option for correcting crooked teeth?
Traditional metallic braces are the cheapest option for crooked teeth. However, when it comes to your teeth, you should look for an option that can align your teeth correctly and not run after the cheapest option as investing in your teeth means investing in your smile and confidence.
Straightening crooked teeth becomes indispensable when it starts messing with the functions of your mouth. A perfect smile heightens your confidence and helps you to perform your tasks more efficiently. Conway House dental practice in High Wycombe is the best dental practice in town that can address all your dental issues and help you in correcting your crooked teeth. The skilled dentists and a warm and friendly staff lessen your anxiety regarding your dental issue. So, if you are looking to get your teeth straightened, book an appointment today.