Crooked or misaligned teeth can be unattractive and greatly affect the daily lives of both adults and children. It is not just an aesthetic issue, as people with crooked teeth are also at risk of long-term health issues. Thankfully, there are a number of modern solutions for people of all ages with misaligned teeth. First, the causes of crooked teeth must be understood for treatment to be possible.
There a variety of factors that can contribute to crooked or overlapping teeth. The causes range from incorrect jaw development, tongue thrusting, premature tooth loss, improper fit of dental restorations, gum disease, and prolonged thumb sucking or use of a bottle or pacifier. Many people have experienced one or more of these problems during their lifetime. Genetics plays an important part, as jaw development and tooth size are hereditary, and these affect tooth alignment. Problems leading to crooked teeth can be spotted from as early as five years old.
In the same way that there are many factors that contribute to crooked teeth, there are a wide variety of problems that can negatively affect one’s health. Misaligned teeth can significantly affect bite, which can in turn make chewing and eating difficult. Excessive wear on teeth enamel can also occur. Speaking can also be challenging for people with misaligned teeth, as some develop a lisp. Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean which increases the risk of tooth decay, gingivitis (gum disease), and periodontal disease (severe gum disease), which also contributes to the risk of heart disease.
For many people, the biggest issue with crowded, protruding or misaligned teeth is the effect on overall physical appearance. It affects self-esteem and can make one self-conscious and lack in confidence. Such casual expressions as smiling and laughing can be difficult for people with crooked teeth.
The first step to a solution for crooked and misaligned teeth is to visit your dentist.
There is a range of orthodontic products available for correcting the alignment of teeth. Braces are the most traditional treatment option, made from a variety of materials from metal to ceramic. Braces slowly move teeth into place using pressure over a long period of time. The Invisalign system uses clear removable plastic trays and is very popular for those interested in the most aesthetically pleasing solution to fix crooked teeth.
Porcelain veneers can be an alternative solution for crooked teeth with purely cosmetic concerns. These simply cover the crooked teeth rather than move them into a better alignment. For some people, a simple retainer is all that is needed to fix slightly crooked teeth.
If you are concerned about misaligned or crooked teeth, contact your dentist at Yaletown Dentistry for an assessment. Crooked teeth are not just a cosmetic issue but also a physical one that can have implications for your overall health. To avoid complications, it is best to treat crooked teeth sooner rather than later. Orthodontic treatment can improve confidence and create a healthy, straight smile for life.