Having a beautiful, perfectly aligned smile can boost your self-confidence. However, very few people are blessed with a perfectly straight smile. Many people have teeth that grow in at an angle, overlap or even become crooked later in life.
There are many causes of crooked teeth; fortunately, there are excellent modern devices and techniques that can straighten them. Your dentist can examine your teeth and explain the best tooth straightening treatment for your smile.
What Causes Crooked Teeth?
Crookedness can be hereditary, or you may have a naturally small jaw that causes some teeth to grow at an angle, adversely impacting surrounding teeth.
There is an anthropological theory that human jaws had to work much harder to chew tougher food and jaws grew strong and large to adapt to the task. Because the modern human diet is softer, our jaws have become smaller, leaving less space to accommodate our teeth, especially the last set of molars known as the wisdom teeth. The reduced space causes teeth to push against one another, resulting in a crooked smile.
Another explanation for what causes crooked teeth is that people who do not access regular dental care do not get their teeth checked in time to prevent misalignment and the problems it can cause. Early intervention can address the issue before it causes oral complications like TMJ, wear and tear, tooth decay and tooth loss.
Other causes of crooked teeth are missing teeth, as they allow space for neighbouring teeth to shift into the gap. An underdeveloped palette could also lead to teeth growing at an angle pushing against neighbouring teeth, causing misalignment.
Long-term pacifier use and prolonged thumb-sucking in infants and young children also cause crooked teeth. These soothing behaviours can interfere with bone development, change the structure of the hard palate, and cause bite issues.
Unexpected causes of crooked teeth can be accidents, such as trauma to the mouth during sports.
Crooked Teeth Problems
Crooked teeth may not be aesthetically pleasing, affecting your confidence and even negatively impacting your mental health. There are also physical issues, and uneven teeth can make it difficult to chew food correctly, which can affect how you digest your meals.
It may be challenging to clean between crooked teeth, potentially causing tooth decay and gum disease. If left untreated, infections can damage the jawbone, becoming painful and risking your overall health. If teeth are misaligned, they can be subject to excessive wear and tear. You may feel jaw strain and discomfort as your teeth work harder to chew food.
Causes of crooked teeth can also lead to speech and communication problems.
You may find it difficult to articulate some words, and others may find it more challenging to understand what you say.
This issue can cause social withdrawal, as this can sometimes cause embarrassment and miscommunication.
Treating Crooked Teeth
The most important consideration after you know what causes crooked teeth is how you can treat the problem. At Dentistry on Solent, we use the latest orthodontic techniques to straighten crooked teeth. Depending on the complexity of your case, there are several options available to address your misalignment, including these discrete alternatives to traditional metal braces.
Clear braces are an excellent method for straightening misaligned teeth. These braces are made from ceramic and attach to the teeth using brackets made from an incredibly strong material called translucent polycrystalline alumina (TPA). Although it is nearly invisible to the naked eye, it forms a binding hold to the teeth, ensuring a durable contact.
Clear braces are a discrete option for straightening crooked teeth. Many people avoid wearing conventional metal braces because they are more noticeable. Clear braces offer the same straightening benefits as metal braces.
Metal braces and clear braces both use brackets and archwires, that gently realign your teeth. Although they are tooth-coloured, the ceramic brackets on clear braces are stain-resistant.
If you have complex orthodontic issues, such as too short or too long teeth, significant gaps between teeth, or teeth that have rotated too far, clear braces can be an effective solution.
Invisalign removable trays are another clear braces orthodontic system. They are popular for treating minor to moderate misalignment issues because they are removable and you can brush and floss as usual and have no dietary restrictions.
Your dentist performs a 3D scan of your mouth, providing an accurate picture of each tooth’s location and jaw positioning. An intelligent software program then uses the measurements from the scan to estimate your teeth’s movement throughout your straightening treatment.
Using the software program and scanning date, technicians create a series of Invisalign trays that you wear over 12-18 months. You must wear the tray for 22 hours per day, and you change to the next tray in the series every two weeks. Each aligner causes your teeth to conform to the shape of the tray, ensuring a gradual progression towards straight teeth.
Invisalign aligners are discrete because they are made from transparent thermoplastic, and they are suitable for those with sensitive mouths because they have no brackets or wires to cause abrasions to the soft tissue in your mouth. However, Invisalign treatment is unsuitable for some complex orthodontic issues that require vertical tooth movement and tooth rotation over 20°.
The Final Word
Whether you are genetically prone to crookedness or suffer from misalignment due to missing teeth or trauma, crooked teeth can negatively affect your self-esteem and impact your oral health.
At Dentistry on Solent, we offer affordable and effective treatments to straighten crooked teeth. Orthodontic treatment can help you achieve a straight smile.
If you have crooked teeth and want to improve your smile and oral health, contact Dentistry on Solent at (02) 9158 6137 for a consultation to discuss our discrete clear braces teeth straightening options and how they can help you smile with confidence.