Teeth come in all shapes and sizes. Some are bigger than average, some are smaller; some are crowded together, and some are spaced out. Occasionally a person will get lucky and their teeth will naturally grow in pretty straight, while many others will have a crooked smile that can be easily fixed with orthodontics. Have you ever wondered what causes crooked teeth? Here are the top five reasons people have crooked teeth.
- It runs in the family.
The most common and easiest explanation for crooked teeth is simply genetics. Mouth size, teeth size, jaw alignment, and so much more will attribute to straight or crooked teeth, and many of these things are passed down. For example, if you have a smaller mouth just like your mom, your teeth may become overcrowded and grow at odd angles in order to all fit.
- You forgot to brush and floss.
If you aren’t brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting your dentist twice a year for a routine cleaning and checkup, you are putting yourself at risk of getting gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease and can cause swollen or tender gums. If left untreated, gingivitis turns into a serious gum disease called periodontitis which can lead to crooked or loose teeth, and eventually can even cause teeth to fall out.
- It started when you were just a baby.
It’s possible that you attributed to your crooked teeth as a baby if you were a thumb sucker. When babies or kids suck their thumbs, it pushes the front teeth out and can make them crooked. In addition to thumb sucking, if as a child you lost a baby tooth too early, this could have caused your other teeth to fill in the gap and create a crooked mess when the permanent tooth eventually tried to grow in.
- You may have some unfortunate habits.
There are some habits that many people don’t even know they have that can attribute to crooked teeth. For example, tongue thrushing is a habit where people press their tongue against the back of their teeth when they swallow instead of against the roof of their mouth. Over time this can push the teeth out and cause them to become crooked. Studies have also shown that mouth breathing can eventually cause crooked teeth.
- You had an accident.
Finally, a sports injury or some other accident that caused trauma to your mouth can result in crooked teeth. Usually this happens when the injury causes the jaw to become misaligned which then makes the teeth grow in crooked.
In addition to feeling more confident in your smile, there are many benefits to getting braces to straighten out crooked teeth. Teeth that overlap or that are overcrowded are much harder to clean, even if you are brushing and flossing every day. These hard-to-clean areas will start to accumulate plaque and create cavities. Overtime, misaligned teeth can even wreak havoc on your jaw and gums.
If your teeth are crooked, we invite you to make an appointment with us today at Cornerstone Family Dentistry so we can talk about our orthodontic services and help give you a bright and beautiful smile!