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One of the biggest problems in orthodontics is patients have crooked and misaligned teeth. This can lead to many other issues in your oral and general health. The good news is that there are ways to prevent these problems before they happen or correct them so they do not get worse.

We will go a little more in-depth about the causes, concerns, and fixes for crooked teeth below.

Causes

Genetics

One of the biggest factors in how your mouth and teeth will develop is genetics. If one or more of your parents have misaligned or crooked teeth it is possible that you will too. We do not have very much control over this cause. It is also possible to inherit an overbite or underbite through genetics, but don’t worry there are ways to fix these problems!

Bad Habits

We pick up habits, good or bad, from birth. These habits might seem harmless but can really have a lasting effect on our oral health.

If it is possible we should look to break habits such as:

  • Thumb Sucking
  • Using a Pacifier
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Tongue Thrusting
  • Reverse Swallowing

These habits are referred to as myofunctional which means they affect the function of the muscles in the mouth or the face. If you can correct these or keep your children from forming these habits, they are more likely to have straighter teeth and a more correctly aligned jaw.

Injury

Abstaining a facial injury can often lead to crooked teeth. If the jaw or individual teeth get knocked out or moved out of place, the other teeth can grow in crooked or shift around to fit the new room in your mouth. Injury is often the cause for the worst cases of crooked teeth and misaligned jaws.

Poor Hygiene & Nutrition

Not brushing and flossing like you should can lead to cavities and gum disease which can lead to crooked teeth. Your everyday diet also plays a huge role in your mouth health. Eating sweets and drinking soda can lead to tooth decay and can poorly affect dental development.

Concerns

Cleaning

Having crooked teeth adds an unneeded obstacle to your dental hygiene regimen. You can spend extra time brushing and flossing, but you may never get into all the crevices and hard to reach places in your mouth. Not being able to adequately clean your teeth can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and periodontitis which is the inflammation of the tissue around the teeth, often causing shrinkage of the gums and loosening of the teeth.

Tooth Wear

Crooked teeth can rub against each other wearing on the enamel, the protective coating on our teeth. Wear can also cause issues with your jaw and gums. Chronic headaches and cracked teeth are common with prolonged wear.

Self Esteem

Not having to best smile can often lead to self esteem issues and lower confidence. This can affect your overall happiness throughout your daily life. Fixing this issue can lower your stress and increase your cognitive abilities.

Overall health 

Our oral health has a huge impact on our overall health. Having poor mouth health can increase the likelihood of having serious health issues such as heart attacks, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes, and preterm labor. 

 

How to Straighten Your Teeth

Do you need to straighten your teeth? This is a personal decision, but having straight teeth does have various health benefits. If you decide to move forward with correcting your crooked teeth there are a few routes you can go. 

 

Traditional, Clear/ Hidden, or Miniature Braces: 

  • Traditional braces are stainless steel brackets 
  • clear braces and for some patients can affix braces to the insides of teeth so they are “invisible” or hidden.
  • Mini braces are made of stainless steel brackets that are attached to your teeth with metal arch wires attached to each bracket but are 30% smaller than normal braces 

 

Damon: 

  • The Damon® System uses a self-ligation technique, lighter wires and lower friction brackets to move teeth. 
  • This results in faster treatment times. 
  • In addition to greater comfort, the Damon® System makes it easier to maintain good hygiene because it’s smaller and easier to keep clean. This contributes to a more enjoyable treatment experience.

 

Invisalign Aligners: 

  • Invisalign® is a great alternative to braces because it uses clear aligners instead of metal brackets. 
  • By wearing these clear tray aligners, you can obtain the look you desire without braces. 
  • Most people wouldn’t even know that you are straightening your teeth. 
  • We even specialize in the Invisalign® Teen treatments as an additional alternative. 

 

SureSmile:

  • SureSmile® is a software system that combines 3-D technology, robotics, and customization to improve precision and predictability with orthodontic treatment.
  • You’ll get outstanding results in less time because these highly accurate wires are custom designed for you by the orthodontist.
  • This can reduce your treatment time by as much as 30%!

 

Acceledent: 

  • AcceleDent® is an easy-to-use, hands-free device designed to expedite orthodontic treatment in just 20 minutes a day. 
  • AcceleDent uses SoftPulse Technology® micropulses to accelerate the movement of your teeth, and the micropulses have the added benefit of reducing discomfort! 
  • With daily use, AcceleDent can reduce your treatment time by up to 50%.

 

Takeaway 

We can’t change our genetics, but we can teach our children better habits. Prevention of crooked teeth and a misaligned jaw start from the very beginning. Timing is everything! Guiding our children to learn good hygiene, nutrition, and myofunctional habits is the best way to ensure good oral health! 

There are many concerns when it comes to crooked teeth. Being able to clean your teeth well, tooth wear, and lowered self esteem are just a few of the many issues that arise from having misaligned teeth. It is important to mitigate these if you want to increase your overall health and deter serious health issues now and in the future

There is no right way to straighten your teeth. Each patient is unique and can create a treatment plan that works best for them. By scheduling an appointment at Graber and Gyllenhaal, we can answer any other questions you have and start the teeth straightening journey that works best for you!