Crooked teeth are caused by a number of different factors. These factors range from genetics to mouth deformities. Extra teeth or abnormally large teeth can create a malocclusion (crookedness or misplacement of teeth) that is is usually genetic in nature. In some cases jaws are too small to accommodate a full set of teeth. In other cases misaligned jaws that did not form properly develop during the childhood years.
Can you prevent crooked teeth?
In most cases, underbites, overbites, and crooked teeth are genetically derived and can’t be avoided. Invisalign or braces is be necessary to correct the condition once the child is old enough to wear them. However, certain early childhood behaviors can contribute to the development of crooked teeth that can be avoided. These include:
- Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting
- Losing baby teeth to decay before permanent teeth have naturally pushed them out of their sockets
- Allowing pacifier use to continue after front teeth have erupted
The health of baby teeth directly effects the health of the permanent teeth . Permanent teeth begin to drift and erupt crookedly if the baby teeth above them are lost prematurely due to decay or damage. Baby teeth are like anchors for permanent teeth that help guide them as they erupt through the gums.
In addition, excellent care of baby teeth is vital to having permanent teeth free of discoloration or decay. Harmful oral bacteria can spread into the gums and reach permanent teeth still buried in the gums. Once attached to a tooth’s enamel, bacteria will begin eroding the tooth before it has a chance to take its first bite!