Dental Conditions Crooked Teeth
Are my crooked teeth actually a problem? That depends on the severity of concern and consultation.
Having straight teeth is much more than having a beautiful, pleasant smile. Though research has shown that as far as first impressions go, a winning smile will have the greatest impact. Directly affecting your health, having crooked teeth can lead to sores in the mouth due to missed bites, painful chewing, bad breath, tooth decay, and more. Furthermore, uneven wear on teeth can lead to jaw issues over time.
How to Prevent
The development of our jaw structures is according to the DNA our parents have given us. If our parents have poorly formed or out-of-sync jaw development, we likely will as well.
Missing teeth can cause the remaining teeth to drift and shift. This results in the misalignment of the bite.
Bad habits such as thumb-sucking in the toddler years causes improper development of the jaw.
Timing of baby teeth is important. The loss of baby teeth too early due to decay, or having them remain in the mouth for too long are both areas of concern. Both losing baby teeth too quickly or late can cause adult teeth to lose space and at the wrong position respectively
Starting from a young age, we should try to minimize sickness as much as possible. When the body is still in development, having our airflow affected for any extended period of time can lead to permanent developmental changes
Stop your child from sucking their thumb if they are past age four. This habit can cause their teeth to not develop properly.
As with adults, regular check-ups and good hygiene are key as we endeavour to prevent early tooth loss. Although it sounds counterproductive, removing teeth if they are being held in beyond their normal time of function is also important. Replacing missing baby teeth with space holders or retainers will help alleviate potential shifting of erupting adult teeth.
Replacing missing teeth with implants or bridges will help prevent teeth from shifting and becoming poorly aligned
Bad habits such as excessive gum chewing or biting pens should be stopped as the excessive wear and pressure can lead to undesirable tooth movement.
Sleeping on your stomach can cause consistent pressure on your teeth and jaw overnight, causing shifting.
If we have a significant enough situation and any of the above-mentioned concerns are present, then clear aligner treatment, such as Invisalign, can be highly effective at straightening teeth. This is a very discreet, non-invasive option that can address many tooth alignment concerns. It will help improve aesthetics, oral hygiene, and sensitivity associated with bite concerns. Teeth can also be whitened at the end of treatment as the aligner can be used a custom whitening tray.
If the amount of misalignment is minor but we wish to prevent further shifting over time, and granted that there are no other underlying issues, then sometimes a simple retainer worn at night can prevent further shifting.
Minor aesthetic concerns can be addressed with veneers that require little or no tooth adjustment to achieve a straighter and whiter smile
For slight unevenness in a smile, some minor tooth adjustment combined with bonding of custom tooth shade composite can address such aesthetic concerns as well
In some extreme cases, where the pros outweigh the cons, tooth extraction and/or jaw surgery may be recommended.