Most of us don’t have the good fortune of having naturally straight teeth. In fact, crooked teeth are extremely common and many people have at least one or two misaligned teeth. But what exactly causes crooked teeth and why do so many of us end up in the dentist’s chair getting orthodontic treatment? Here are a few of the most common factors that affect the alignment of teeth, some of which you may find surprising:
When the jaw develops unevenly, the awkward angle causes teeth to crowd or come in crookedly. While this is often a matter of genetics, there are also theories that attribute conditions like mouth breathing due to asthma and allergies as affecting proper jaw development.
If the roof of your mouth is broad and U-shaped with a low arch, your teeth have plenty of room to grow in and are less likely to be crowded. However, if you have a narrow, V-shaped palate it gives your teeth less space. The shape of your palate is related to your jaw so this is usually determined by genetics as well.
The human tongue is an exceptionally strong muscle, and it has the ability to shift the position of the teeth over time. By applying constant and repeated pressure against the teeth (a habit known as tongue thrusting), they can gradually be pushed out of place.
Thumb sucking, prolonged use of a bottle, or using a pacifier beyond the age of two can affect the position of both baby and adult teeth. It’s also important to prevent the early loss of baby teeth due to poor dental care since these primary teeth act as placeholders for adult teeth.
It’s no secret that our bodies change as we age and our teeth are no exception. Over time, the muscles in our mouths loosen and our teeth gradually begin to shift, especially if there are spaces due to tooth loss.
Despite the many possible causes of crooked teeth, the good news is that they can be corrected. Mission Hills Family Dental offers a number of cosmetic services including Six Month Smiles adult braces and Invisalign invisible braces to help you attain a beautiful, straight smile. Want to learn more? Contact us today to schedule an orthodontic consultation!