What Causes Crooked Teeth?
It’s no secret that nobody wants crooked teeth, after all, your teeth and jaw define a large majority of your overall facial structure. However, these dental issues are quite a common occurrence and in many cases can be an easy fix, especially with modern advancements in dental technology. From braces to Invisalign, there are plenty of treatments which can transform misaligned teeth into a stunning and pristine smile.
The cause for teeth becoming crooked or misaligned can’t be pinned down to a single occurrence as there are many different reasons this may happen. In some cases, you may simply be born with an overcrowded set of teeth or a set that simply don’t line up with one another. In other cases, it could be due to a habit you’ve picked up as a child which has caused your teeth to alter their growing pattern.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the causes of crooked teeth which have led to the treatments available today.
Genetics and Hereditary Factors
The fact of the matter is that if you have dental problems such as a twisted, overcrowded or crooked set of teeth, you may just be born with it. If the issues are hereditary, they generally tend to show around the ages of 5 and 6 when the baby teeth start to make way for the adult teeth.
Genes which run in your family can affect your teeth in a number of ways, whether it’s the number of teeth you have or the size of them, or even how your teeth fit together when your mouth is closed. For example, if the genes in your family reflect a large number of teeth but as you grow the size of your mouth and your jaw doesn’t match, you’ll be left with overcrowding through no fault of your own. If you’ve experienced this you may feel like you’ve drawn the short straw, but the good news is that the earlier you see signs of dental issues, the earlier you can act in order to fix them. It’s much easier to correct crooked teeth at a young age whilst the body is still growing and changing than it is to realign a set of teeth in a fully grown adult.
Of course, there are issues which can start out small and be exacerbated by bad habits adopted at a young age. Similarly, if you’re born with a perfect set of pearly whites these can easily become corrupted through poor dental care or bad practice when young.
Children are the most susceptible to bad habits that may cause lasting damage due to their bodies being in the most crucial stage of growth. Everything from their personalities to their shoe size is changing at an incredible rate, but what you really need to watch out for is their teeth. It’s commonplace to see a baby sucking on their thumb because that’s what babies do right? Well, although it seems like a harmless exercise, letting a baby suck on their thumb for comfort can actually cause serious dental issues and affect the long term development of their teeth.
The same goes for dummies or any other toys which babies like to play with or put in their mouths during the teething stage. As the mouth is developing, the teeth need to be able to grow into their natural places unhindered, but with a thumb or dummy in their mouth regularly, the pressure from the external source will cause the teeth to adapt in order to cope. The longer parents allow their children to suck on their thumb or use a dummy, the more severe the issues are likely to be. This causes a malocclusion, which is simply defined as a misalignment of the teeth and can result in what you’ll know as buck teeth or an overbite.
Being a new parent can be difficult and letting your baby use a dummy to stop them crying in order for you to catch up on some essential sleep is sometimes unavoidable, but the less time babies spend with one in their mouths the better their long term dental development will be.
If these bad habits have led to misaligned teeth, it’s important that parents and children seek out orthodontic treatment to prevent any issues worsening. It’s also important that a good standard of dental hygiene and care is maintained to prevent any new issues from developing.
How to Maintain Good Dental Health When You Have Braces
As a parent, it can be difficult to ensure your child is brushing their teeth regularly and taking good care of their dental health. However, the importance of doing this can’t be overstated enough, as poor dental care at this stage of their life will likely lead to a development in other dental issues later on in their life.
This becomes especially prevalent when children need to wear braces as they bring with them their own challenges. Brackets which are fixed to the teeth can create a small area around the edge which can harbour bacteria and promote plaque build-up, which if not cleaned properly can leave a coloured stain on the tooth once the brace has been removed.
The wires which run in between the brackets also create space for bits of food and bacteria to get caught in whilst the actual wire makes it difficult to clean with a standard toothbrush. Flossing and other smaller, more nimble accessories are key to navigating the tricky design of braces and keeping your mouth clean when it’s most important.
If dental care is neglected whilst braces are worn the resulting issues can be worse than if they weren’t worn, just as issues naturally occur if teeth aren’t looked after properly. A common dental issue is gum disease, which causes sore and often bleeding gums. This can come as a result of teeth being improperly cleaned and a buildup of bacteria where the tooth meets the gum. Assuming you nip this in the bud and treat gum disease effectively early on, it shouldn’t develop into a lasting issue. However, if it is left untreated it can develop into a serious problem leading to tooth loss and thus ruining your hopes of a perfect smile.
Different Types of Braces and How They Can Help
Untreated dental issues can cause a knock-on effect which could lead to new and perhaps more severe problems further on in your life. Once your adult teeth come through you should seek out an orthodontist if you’re suffering from persisting issues with teeth or jaw alignment.
Dental treatment has come an extremely long way in what feels like a very short space of time and certainly isn’t as scary as those head braces or wrap-around wires you may have seen in Finding Nemo. In reality, it’s much simpler and certainly more fashionable. The braces that are available today are much more adaptable and customisable to suit each person's needs and preferences. This may be a medical-related need such as a jaw misalignment which requires elastic bands to be introduced in order to correct the jaw or it may be a preference as simple as the colour of braces used.
These customisable options have helped remove some of the taboos surrounding braces, but the scope for this largely depends on which type of braces are chosen. Believe it or not, there are more than one type of brace and the most common types are:
- Metal braces
- Ceramic braces
- Lingual braces
Metal braces are the standard type of braces which you’ll likely be the most familiar with. They consist of brackets which are fixed to each tooth and wires which join them together in order to reshape the alignment of the teeth over a series of months, depending on how severe the issue is.
Although this type of brace is relatively cheap in comparison to other types and is able to realign teeth at a fast rate, there are a few drawbacks. In terms of appearance, these braces are the clunkiest of the bunch and, with the inclusion of brackets, can completely engulf your smile. They’re not the comfiest either as your mouth will take a while to adjust to all the new metal that will be present, leaving you with a sore tongue and gums.
Ceramic braces have been developed as an alternative to metal braces to offer a more natural appearance. Each bracket is made of a tooth-coloured ceramic material rather than an unsightly chunk of metal and the wires which connect the brackets can also be coloured to achieve a near-invisible appearance.
Often a little more expensive than metal braces, these are a popular choice but they must be looked after. If they’re not, the natural-looking colouring can become stained and unfortunately the discomfort of having something alien in your mouth can’t be avoided.
This type of brace is quite different from the others as it is positioned on the inside of your teeth rather than on the front, occupying the lingual area where your tongue is, hence the name. Although lingual braces would be the perfect choice for those who don’t want to hide their smile, they can’t fix all issues meaning the standard metal braces may be required.
A huge bonus for style but not so much for comfort, as you can probably imagine having your tongue permanently in contact with the metal brackets and wires isn't pleasant.
A relatively recent introduction into the world of dentistry is Invisalign and other invisible brace technologies, which offer the benefits of teeth straightening without the need for brackets and wires crowding your mouth. Invisalign consists of multiple clear plastic trays that slot neatly over your teeth with each tray slightly closer to your desired alignment than the last.
The transparent plastic which is used in the retainers makes for the ideal choice, mainly for adults, who don’t want to wear fixed braces. The plastic is also moulded to your teeth making it much comfier than other options. The only drawbacks wearers will face is that they must be removed when drinking or eating foods which are dark as they may stain and the time which it takes to correct the teeth can be a bit longer than other types of braces.
Can crooked teeth be fixed?
As we mentioned above, braces are often the first choice for fixing a crooked set of teeth, especially if you’re of a young age. Acting early really is the key to fixing these issues as braces will work much quicker and more effectively with a young person than they will with adults.
There is also the issue of appearance. When you were a young kid in school, the last thing you probably thought about was what your teeth looked like, meaning braces don’t feel like a very big deal and can be on and off before you even know it! But for adults, it’s a different story. Once you’ve left school and entered the wider world, appearances are everything, especially if you work a job which requires you to meet people on a regular basis. Of course, there are options which stay out of sight but the discomfort of lingual braces isn’t something anybody wants to introduce into their busy life. The same can be said for Invisalign and invisible brace solutions, but although they essentially hide in plain sight, the need for a series of trays (sometimes up to 50!) can become a burden in itself. So, that’s it, right? You’re all out of options? Not quite…
Clear X Aligners
The modern advancements in dental technology we mentioned earlier have meant that groundbreaking new ways of fixing your teeth have become possible through methods such as Clear X Aligners. This incredible new treatment ushers out the days of uncomfortable metal braces and welcomes a new, dynamic way to achieve perfect teeth.
If you’re unfamiliar with what Clear X Aligners are capable of, the reality is quite breathtaking. At first glance you could be forgiven for mistaking them for a standard Invisalign retainer, but with one key difference… there’s just one!
That’s right, no longer will you have to worry about keeping tabs on a series of different trays, you only need to care for one. But, how does one tray be able to reshape your teeth? A specially designed 4D case is able to gradually reshape your retainer in line with the progress your teeth make. The reshaping works by heating up the retainer in order for it to be re-moulded to the next stage right in front of you. The technology allows the retainer, which is activated once every week, to be specifically moulded to your teeth and offer the best solution for quick improvement.
Clear X Aligners also come with an accompanying app for your smartphone which allows you to track progress, set reminders and let you know when your retainer is set for a reshape. The app allows you to take control of your own treatment and delivers a much more personal experience than any other form of braces or Invisalign. It represents a modern approach to dentistry, limiting the need to visit the dentist whilst providing a superior service.
Believe it or not, there are even more benefits to the Clear X Aligners we offer here at Dental Excellence than just delivering results faster than Invisalign and some other treatments. The single-tray design of the treatment has made it one of the most eco-friendly options, limiting the waste from no longer usable retainers and eradicating the need for new ones to be regularly created.
The dedicated app not only tracks your progress but also acts as a dental assistant which can answer questions and ensure you’re satisfied with the treatment. A user-friendly interface allows simple navigation and easy interaction with the checkup questions you’ll get asked. The kit bundle which you’re provided with, including the retainer, aligner case and the accompanying app allow you to integrate the treatment into your day-to-day life with minimal hassle. Ultimately, the treatment is able to save you time that would otherwise be spent heading to the orthodontist for checkups or arranging your next Invisalign retainer.
As a result of only having a single retainer, the treatment is more cost-effective than other options such as Invisalign as you don’t need multiple retainers. This makes Clear X treatment more accessible to a wider range of budgets and puts the dream of having amazing teeth within reach of more people than ever before.
Once your treatment is complete, you’ll be able to look back over your progress, which has been tracked step by step by the app, and see how much your teeth have improved. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing amazing results after a long commitment to making a change.
How do you get Clear X Aligners?
If you’ve got crooked teeth or a slight misalignment that you’re not happy with, Clear X Aligners are the perfect solution for you. As you now know, the dynamic technology delivers more benefits than other treatments and paves the way to achieving perfect teeth.
To get the Clear X Aligner treatment for yourself, simply call us on 0151 729 0000 or book a consultation with a specialist at one of our luxury locations in Liverpool, Manchester, London or Dublin and they’ll talk you through the process and how the treatment can benefit you.
Topics: dental problems