Do you have a crooked smile, but do not understand how it developed? Are your child’s teeth growing too close together, or has he or she developed a large gap between two teeth? Crooked teeth are common, and so are the orthodontic treatments used to make corrections. Part one of this post series discussed how overbites, underbites, and improperly spaced teeth can cause crooked teeth. The series concludes with a closer look at the problems commonly caused by crowded teeth, misaligned teeth, and even improper retainer use.
Each of our teeth needs a certain amount of room to grow in straight. When teeth are overcrowded along the gum line, they may twist or jut out to claim space in the mouth. Usuallyan underdeveloped or small jaw is the main reason for crowded teeth. There are not extra teeth, as one might assume, but rather a lack of usable real estate for the adult teeth that need to erupt.
Most people with crowded teeth have minor issues that can be treated without jaw surgery or other seemingly more extreme treatments. If the jaw is not developed enough to properly straighten the crowded teeth in their proper position, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend extracting one or two teeth. This practice will leave a small gap to give incoming teeth more room to grow. If needed, further correction with braces can help guide teeth into the right place.
The term “misaligned teeth” could be applied to nearly all of the issues discussed in this and the previous post. However, this term primarily applies to a single tooth, not a more large-scale problem such as an overbite or underbite. Still, if a tooth grows in at an odd angle or pushes other teeth out of alignment, this can cause the bite to become misaligned. Crooked teeth, no matter the cause, are more than merely a cosmetic issue. Most people’s teeth do not stack perfectly, but there should be a natural fit that provides a secure, proper bite. A problem with misaligned teeth may seem minor until you consider how teeth or jaw pain can affect chewing and even speaking.
Improper Retainer Use
While the other causes of crooked teeth we have discussed are mostly genetic, anyone who is considering braces should understand this point. After wearing braces for a certain amount of time as determined by your orthodontist, you will likely be given a retainer to wear. Retainers offer support to your new bite and help keep your teeth aligned. You may have to wear it all the time for a few months, but eventually, most wearers only have to wear it at night, a few times a week.
Wearers should know that skipping several days or choosing not to wear your retainer at all can reverse the corrections made by the braces. By following your orthodontist’s directions, however, proper retainer use can help you maintain your healthy, straight smile for the years ahead. Regular check-ups will ensure that the retainer fits properly and is working effectively.
Call to Schedule a Consultation
Do you or your child have crooked teeth? Schedule a free consultation with Goldenberg Orthodontics to talk about your treatment options. We specialize in outfitting kids, teens, and adults with braces or Invisalign, working out a treatment plan that delivers results and giving you the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve. Take the first step toward having a straighter smile by calling us today at (512) 863-8580.