Teeth may be crooked for a number of reasons, from genetics to mouth deformities and serious oral diseases. When a malocclusion (crookedness or misplacement of teeth) is created, genetics are usually to blame.
Can you prevent crooked teeth?
In most cases, crooked teeth are caused by genetics and can’t be avoided. At that point, orthodontic treatment would be necessary to straighten the teeth. However, there are certain early childhood behaviors that may contribute to the development of crooked teeth. These behaviors can be avoided. They include:
- Thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
- Losing baby teeth to decay
- Prolonged pacifier use
- Losing baby teeth to trauma
While some of those are easy fixes, others take more effort to avoid. Permanent teeth are located under a child’s baby teeth. They are directly affected by the health of the teeth above them. If baby teeth are lost prematurely due to decay or trauma, permanent teeth may not erupt properly. Baby teeth work as anchors for permanent teeth and help to guide them out of the gums.
When do you start orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth?
We suggest that parents bring their children to Carter Orthodontics around age seven to rule out any potential issues. Early treatment is not uncommon. It could allow the orthodontist to guide jaw growth, help lower the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth, detect and correct harmful oral habits, improve your child’s bite, and improve the appearance of your child’s smile.