To bite and chew properly, your upper and lower teeth rely on each other, and they work best when they’re aligned to meet each other properly when you clamp your jaw closed. Otherwise, your bite may still work, but the misalignment of your teeth, which bear the brunt of your bite’s pressure, can complicate things. Your Milford dentists at Sensitive Care answer a few common questions about the nature and dangers of crooked teeth, and how you can straighten them discreetly, without the need for metal braces.
Q: What causes crooked teeth?
In most cases, permanent teeth grow crooked early, as they’re forming in a child’s jawbone or erupting from the bone and gum line. Common reasons for the misalignment can include;
- an inadequately sized mouth, which can cause teeth to bunch together
- malformed and/or disproportionate jawbones, which displaces the relationship between your upper and lower teeth
- genetics (malocclusion can often be an inherited trait)
- excessive thumb-sucking as a child, which places undue pressure on the upper palate and other still-developing oral structures
- early tooth loss as a child
Q: If my teeth were straight as a child, can they still become crooked?
Though many adults who need braces also needed them as children, some adults can develop crooked teeth later in life due to a number of different factors. For instance, wisdom teeth, which are the last four molars to erupt, can crowd the 28 teeth already present, forcing them out of alignment while causing sometimes-severe levels of discomfort. Tooth loss can also cause remaining teeth to shift out of place as they struggle to take up the slack in your bite’s pressure.
Q: I’m okay with how my teeth look. Do I really need to straighten them?
While looks might be the most prominent factor in your decision to straighten (or not straighten) your teeth, the truth is that malocclusion can lead to more serious and more complex dental issues if left untreated. Since they throw your bite off-balance, crooked teeth can cause your jaw to work overtime, and can be exposed to more pressure than teeth were meant to withstand. Cracked, fractured, and broken teeth, or jaw dysfunctions like TMJ disorder, are just a few common results of untreated malocclusion.
Q: Are metal braces necessary?
Appearance might not be the most important factor in your dental health, but we understand that it’s a significant one. To help patients achieve straighter, healthier, more beautiful smiles without the potential embarrassment of metal braces, we offer a variety of more discreet solutions, including the Minor Tooth Movement (MTM®) and Invisalign® systems of clear braces. Both treatments involve the use of custom-designed plastic aligners, rather than brackets and wires attached to your teeth, making them more convenient as well as virtually invisible.
To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling our office at (203) 878-6699. The specialists at Sensitive Care Cosmetic & Family Dentistry proudly serve patients and their families in Milford, Stratford, West Haven, New Haven, and all surrounding communities.