Unfortunately, not everyone is born with perfectly aligned pearly whites. It is more common than you think — both present in kids and grown-ups. However, there is no necessity to straighten them. Some choose to keep their teeth the way they are, and some choose to have them straightened up, especially when it impacts the speech or if it causes discomfort. Others might even consider getting a temporary tooth.
This article will explore the reasons that cause crooked teeth and offer specific methods available to correct them. Let’s get started!
Crooked teeth are either caused by an inherent genetic structure or are a product of continuous oral habits. Sometimes baby teeth grow in an awkward manner because of their tiny size; incompatible with their own gum space. Sucking on a pacifier or a thumb well past the toddler stage can also be the reason behind overbites and crooked teeth.
However, it is important to note that crooked baby teeth do not necessarily guarantee the same growth pattern when permanent ones grow out. This will only be the case if the child has experienced a sort of physical trauma to cause their teeth to dislodge as this will impact the growth of the new ones. Let’s take a closer look at three other causes.
Jaw size is another factor that influences the growth of permanent teeth. Apparently, our generations’ diets are softer and easier to consume as compared to generations before us. The lack of chewing has changed the way our jaws are developed. In fact, studies have shown that we all have a collectively smaller jaw, and it is a probable cause for crooked teeth.
Misaligned jaws, also known as Malocclusion, are another inherent cause. A normal jaw would see the top and bottom row of teeth almost aligned atop one another, the top row slightly over the bottom. Misaligned jaws usually cause either an overbite or an underbite. An overbite is the top row of teeth jutting out further than normal while an underbite is the same but involving the bottom row of teeth instead.
2. Bad Hygiene and Nutrition
A trip to the dentist may seem like the scariest thing to do, and many avoid scheduling regular appointments. This actually puts you at risk of letting potential oral diseases go unnoticed, and worsen your dental health or the alignment of your teeth.
It is important to also stay healthy, especially in terms of nutrition. Studies have shown that many children who had poor eating habits faced more teeth-related issues and poor oral health.
This may seem like an obvious reason, but if your family lineage has prominent crooked teeth, you have a higher chance of getting it too. That being said, you should take extra care.
Potential Risks of Having Crooked Teeth
While crooked teeth generally have little impact on your health and life, for some, unfortunately, it can cause negative effects. For example, it can cause discomfort while eating or impede speech. Additionally, it can cause severe self-esteem issues too.
A prominent health issue that is the product of crooked teeth is Periodontal Disease. In cases where teeth are overcrowded, it can be hard to clean, hence encouraging bacterial growth. This could potentially cause tooth decay, cavities, and gum diseases. Untreated gum disease can result in Periodontitis, a damaging virus that can affect teeth and even the bones.
Difficulty chewing caused by misaligned teeth could also negatively impact the digestion process due to poor chewing. This could also lead to excessive wear and tear to muscles in the jaw, gums, and teeth due to overexertion. In some cases, it could lead to temporomandibular joint disorder and migraines.
Other than chewing difficulties, crooked teeth can cause speech impediments or give you a lisp. This could lead to self-esteem issues caused by physical appearance or an inability to articulate.
Should I Fix My Crooked Teeth?
Crooked teeth are not all that bad. In fact, did you know that in Japan, it is considered a very attractive trait for women to have? As long as it does not affect you largely, it is totally fine to keep them just the way they are!
Of course, if you still want to ‘fix’ them up, that is entirely up to you. You have to consider the financial and physical commitment required in order to go through with the process.
How Do People Straighten Their Teeth?
If you have had time to contemplate this decision and available funding to do so, there are many options for you to choose, depending on what you wish to achieve. The most common method people use is getting braces to realign and provide teeth a firm structure to correct their growth. However, there are a few variations of braces to consider. Read on to find out what works best for you:
It is highly recommended to get metal braces when you are younger as your gums are more flexible and easier to ‘manipulate’. Metal braces are stuck on each individual tooth with a metal bracket for the wire to go through. In some cases, rubber bands are used to further tighten the effect of the braces. In more recent times, dentists use lesser metal and have reduced the size of brackets to ease the discomfort caused during realignment.
Sometimes, depending on the severity of the crookedness, a headgear is required to supplement the effect of metal braces. Most of the time, the headgear is recommended for use at night time only, when the jaw is relaxed during and needs extra support.
Depending on where you live, the severity of your case, and the duration needed for the entire process, metal brace applications usually cost around $3,000 to $7,500.
A rising trend in the beauty and cosmetic industry, these braces are popular for being invisible. These are only for teenagers and adult-use though. Like a retainer, but stronger, it is custom-made to fit your teeth. Usually, it is required to have them regularly replaced twice a month.
For this option, we would not recommend it to those looking for major realignment. Compared to metal braces, they take a longer time to straighten the teeth. Depending on what brand you get, these usually cost around $3,500 to $8,500.
Teeth Straightening Surgery
If you want to skip the wait, you could consider going under the knife. Usually, these are for those who have severe health issues due to crooked teeth. Depending on your case, the orthodontist might recommend either a jaw relocation surgery or a minor procedure to reorder the teeth. The costs for this vary depending on the type of surgery you get and the aftercare needed.
Crooked teeth do not require treatment unless they cause dire health issues. If you still wish to have straightened teeth, that is a personal decision — as long as you are financially prepared and fully committed to the process! We hope this article has provided you more helpful insight.