Crooked or Misaligned Teeth: Common Causes and What You Can Expect as a Parent

crooked or misaligned teeth

No one is born with a perfect set of dentures, and misaligned or crooked teeth are quite common. Most dental problems that lead to braces start from an early age, but there are specific reasons why your child’s teeth may not be straight. Sometimes having a tooth that is out of place will add to a person’s character, but other times your child will want this dental feature corrected early in their lives.

The reasons that your children’s teeth are misaligned or crooked vary, and it could affect them for most of their life. Baby teeth are either developed crooked or they become so after certain daily activities are performed over and over. Here are the most common reasons for orthodontic problems and what you should expect as a parent.

Family History

First, and most importantly, genetics plays the biggest factor. If one or both parents had crooked teeth growing up, the chances that children will be born with the same feature increases substantially. Even more specifically, the type of dental issue seems to be the same as well. This means that if you had an underbite as a child, it could be the reason that your child needs braces. These are just the wonderful and mysterious ways in which Mother Nature works.

The size, shape, and bone structure of your child’s jaw are also passed down through genetics. Even if you and your spouse had no dental issues growing up, if a distant relative did, then there is still a chance your child will inherit the same feature.

Dietary Behaviors

Growing up, children need a variety of food and drink to support a healthy and nutritious eating plan. The problem with modern-day diets is that most of the food is processed. This is even more true for baby puree or formula. Infants cannot eat solid fruits and vegetables for the first few months, but not introducing solids early enough can have negative effects.

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A baby’s jaw size changes and moves as they get older. They need to be introduced to solid foods at the right time so that their jaws can develop correctly. With everything being so processed, humans have evolved to develop much smaller jaws because less chewing is required. The issue is that the teeth haven’t quite caught up in this evolutionary cycle, so this results in too many teeth for the size of the mouth.

Myofunctional Habits In Infancy

Myofunctional refers to the function of the muscles in your mouth that contribute to dental problems. When genetics is not at play, there are environmental factors that could determine whether your child grows up with straight teeth or not. For one, excessive thumb sucking or the use of a pacifier can increase the chances of crooked teeth. All babies will naturally suckle on these items for a while as they grow, but it mustn’t become a habit in later life. Children need to be weaned off bottles and pacifiers properly to avoid this causing orthodontic issues.

It is the repetitive motion and function of those muscles constantly suckling on the bottle or pacifier that causes the jaw to grow crooked. Don’t worry too much though, because if you address it early enough then you may not need to fit your children for metal braces. Small myofunctional problems can be corrected with methods of teeth straightening at home. Even if you as a parent have had this problem since your childhood you can straighten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, by choosing Straight My Teeth. This orthodontic care provider can perform a free assessment on you or your children aged 14 or over to advise the best treatment plan to correct crooked teeth. Straight My Teeth is run by a duo team of highly trained professional orthodontists to help you get the perfect smile.

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Dental Hygiene

Everyone knows the importance of maintaining good dental hygiene, but it needs to start from a young age. You need to teach your children the basics of keeping a healthy and clean smile so that they have fewer problems when they get older. Simple things such as eating too much sugar without brushing their teeth afterward are big concerns. Let your children eat sweets but encourage them to brush when they are done. The longer any remaining sugary substance sits on the teeth the more damage it will do.

Another cause is not going to the dentist regularly. It is never fun to take your children to the dentist, but they need to learn the value of keeping their gums in good condition. Teach them that the more work they put into their dental hygiene now, the less work it will be when they are older. They are also learning to protect themselves from uncomfortable surgery or braces when they are adults. It is best to address any dental problems before they become teenagers.

Speech and Chewing Difficulties

Crooked or misaligned teeth can cause difficulties, just as much as a speech impediment or problem chewing food can cause a dental deformity. Depending on the issue, it may be something that your child can live with, or they may need to get it corrected before it causes more damage. For example, if your child hasn’t got straight teeth they will automatically chew differently. As they age and their bodies develop, this continuous movement can cause the teeth and jaw to shift even more. This may result in a more severe overbite or underbite that only becomes more visible when they are older.

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If your child has crooked teeth, they may not be able to pronounce certain words correctly. Again, if this is caused by a dental problem then it needs to be taken care of before your children reach their late childhood years. Once they become young adults, all of their teeth are set in their place, and any correction will need surgery or braces to be fitted.

Injury or Disease

Some common tooth conditions are caused by having crooked or misaligned teeth. For instance, it becomes harder to clean in between each tooth if they are too close together or stuck on top of one another. The problem is that over time this can lead to gum disease like periodontitis. If left untreated, and this will further damage the teeth and the jaw bone’s structure. This type of dental issue also makes it tougher to floss and maintain general dental hygiene, so you will want to get it addressed sooner rather than later.

Any minor injury to the face at a young age can also cause teeth to become misaligned. This is because your children’s jaw and facial bones are still growing. Any pressure or knock to the jaw during this period can cause the gums and muscles to develop incorrectly.

As a parent, you will worry about your children’s comfort and happiness. Having a smile that they can be proud of is important for self-confidence but also to make sure that they are taking care of their pearly whites. If any of these reasons stand out as to why your children have crooked or misaligned teeth, then you at least know there is something that you can do about it.