After the loss of baby teeth, it is a rare for someone to develop perfectly straight teeth as they mature into adulthood. Because of inherited conditions, acquired habits during childhood, and the overall imperfections of the facial structure, crooked teeth often come as a result.
While some people may see a crooked smile as part of who they are, many others desire to have straight teeth instead.
In some cases, there may be no problems associated with someone opting NOT to fix their crooked teeth. However, it is recommended that an orthodontist examine them to make sure there are no foreseeable issues with allowing the teeth to remain in their untreated position.
In many other cases, malpositioned teeth and/or bites DO cause various issues and can create both short and long-term negative consequences for the patient. Because of this, most patients, once informed of the benefits of orthodontic care by a specialist, will seek treatment to correct the pressing issues and receive a straight, healthy smile.
How to Fix Crooked Teeth
Contrary to what has been the trend for decades, adults now make up approximately 1-in-5 orthodontic patients. This is an encouraging number. It relates to the fact that more adults are now excited about new methods of correcting their teeth, which are both safe and effective when performed in the right hands.
The first step to correcting teeth would be to ensure there are no underlying oral issues that need to be fixed first. For instance, if periodontal disease (bone or gum loss around teeth) or tooth decay are present, these problems will need to be addressed before the crooked teeth can be treated. Failure to address these other problems first can result in poor outcomes, including the potential loss of teeth.
Braces on crooked teeth for straightening has long been the standard of care. There are a few other treatment modalities, such as palatal expanders and aligners, that may be used to either help correct bites or straighten teeth. In cases where jaws are severely mismatched, surgical procedures may be needed for an ideal result.
Veneers for crooked teeth can sometimes be an effective and quick solution. However, veneers should be carefully considered in relation to the bite and level of invasiveness that a patient is willing to tolerate. Straightening crowded front teeth with veneers usually requires the dentist drill the front teeth down to a smaller size before placing the veneers. These veneers will also have to be replaced periodically throughout life. Straightening the teeth orthodontically, while taking longer than veneers, is more conservative and allows the patient to retain more of their natural tooth structure.
A board-certified orthodontist will be able to evaluate the patient’s mouth to explain the pros and cons of veneers versus orthodontics.
Correcting Crooked Teeth with Braces
At Burke & Redford Orthodontics, Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke offer an attractive variety of cutting-edge options for patients that require braces. The doctors put the patient’s well-being as their top priority, while providing the highest quality treatment and patient care.
Below are some of the braces options they are proud to specialize in and offer to their patients:
- Ceramic braces:
Ceramic braces are made tooth-colored to make them blend seamlessly with the patient’s appearance. These are often the preferred treatment option for teens and adults.
Without the need for brackets and wires, Invisalign is ever-increasing in popularity. Clear aligners give patients increased ease during treatment because they are removable for eating and brushing teeth.
- Self-ligating braces (such as Damon braces):
Self-ligating braces are a highly sought-after option. These braces are revolutionary in their design and have many benefits. Adjusting these braces is simple, making for less time spent in the dental chair.
We use advanced shape memory wires with our self-ligating braces, which allows for continuous and gentle pressure placed on the teeth. This means the braces system is constantly working to straighten teeth and makes treatment as efficient as possible.
- Metal braces:
Metal braces, which are sometimes referred to as traditional braces, are the classic brackets and wires appliance many are well-aware of. While these may not be an attractive option to some, their appearance and level of comfort have improved significantly over time. Younger kids often usually prefer this option because they can be decorated with colors. We are constantly scouring the market for the best technology in braces and the latest metal braces we offer are also self-ligating.
What Can Bring About Crooked Teeth?
In many cases, crooked teeth are caused by hereditary issues. At age 7, if crowded and crooked baby teeth are present, this almost always results in crooked permanent teeth later.
Besides issues which are inherited, there are several other common causes of uneven teeth:
- Maladaptive habits in childhood:
Children often develop habits such as sucking on their thumbs or using a pacifier. These habits can be detrimental to the position of the teeth present in the mouth.
At young ages, a child’s mouth is easily manipulated. Therefore, the slight yet constant pressure of a pacifier or thumb can move teeth in all sorts of directions.
- Jaw size mismatches:
Jaws that are too small can often cause the bite to fit improperly. This can result in overbites, underbites, or crossbites. Additionally, small jaws can cause crooked bottom teeth as well as top teeth.
- Inadequate dental care:
When proper oral hygiene is not taken seriously, issues such as periodontal disease and tooth decay can develop. People may lose teeth prematurely, causing teeth to shift improperly into their place or causing other teeth to become impacted under the gums. Therefore, it is essential to have regular dental check-ups and seek an orthodontist for an initial examination around the age of 7.
How Crooked Teeth Can Affect Oral Health
While some people can enjoy good oral health with crooked teeth, others are left predisposed to dental health issues from their asymmetrical smile. Depending upon the degree of how crooked the teeth and bite, normal daily living may be disrupted.
Misaligned teeth are known to influence oral health in the following ways:
Improper chewing often results from a mismatched bite.
- Speech abnormalities:
Crooked teeth may make normal speech articulation difficult or impossible.
- Damaging wear and tear:
Top and bottom teeth that do not fit properly can quickly wear down. This eventually requires the teeth to be restored to their normal size and shape by the dentist. Good orthodontic treatment that not only straightens teeth but idealizes the bite can help save teeth from breaking down over time.
- Cavities and gum disease:
Due to the difficulty adequately cleaning crooked teeth, cavities and periodontal disease may develop in the mouth. This can lead to the breakdown and loss of teeth, if left untreated.
Although crooked teeth can bring significant drawbacks, it is relieving to know that orthodontists such as Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke are skilled at treating misaligned teeth in an efficient, comfortable manner.
At Burke & Redford Orthodontists, we are always happy to help set up a free consultation with one of our highly skilled and board-certified doctors. Please give us a call at (951) 699-8011. We are happy to serve you at our offices in Lake Elsinore and Temecula.