Crooked Teeth

Crooked teeth, are teeth that don’t line up straight. This is a common issue and can happen because of things like genetics, childhood habits, or the size of your jaw.


Crooked teeth can affect how you look and feel about yourself, and they can also cause problems with your oral health, like tooth decay, gum disease, and trouble chewing. But don’t worry—there are many effective treatments available that can help straighten your teeth and improve your smile

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Problems with Crooked teeth

  • Hard to Clean: It’s tougher to brush and floss crooked teeth, which can lead to cavities and gum problems.
  • Gum Problems: Misaligned teeth can cause gum disease because food and bacteria get stuck in hard-to-reach places.
  • Tooth Wear: Crooked teeth can wear down unevenly, which can cause them to chip or break.
  • Chewing Trouble: It can be difficult or uncomfortable to bite and chew food with crooked teeth.
  • Speech Issues: Misaligned teeth can sometimes cause speech problems, like lisps.
  • Self-Esteem: Crooked teeth can make you feel self-conscious about your smile.
  • Bad Breath: It’s easier for food and bacteria to get trapped, causing bad breath.
  • Risk of Injury: Teeth that stick out or are not aligned properly are more likely to get injured, especially during sports.

Options to treat crooked teeth

  • Traditional Metal Braces: Metal brackets and wires that gradually move teeth into place. They are not as popular due to advancements in technology with clear braces
  • Invisalign Clear Braces: A popular system using clear, removable aligners that are custom-made to gradually shift teeth. They are nearly invisible and can be taken out for eating and cleaning.
  • Porcelain Veneers: Thin, custom-made shells placed over the front of teeth to improve their appearance. They can correct minor alignment issues and enhance the look of your smile.
  • Composite Bonding: A tooth-colored resin is applied to teeth to fix minor alignment issues, chips, or gaps. It’s a quick and less invasive option.
  • Tooth Contouring and Reshaping: A cosmetic procedure that involves removing small amounts of enamel to change the shape, length, or surface of teeth, ideal for minor corrections.
  • Surgery: In severe cases where jaw alignment is the issue, surgical correction might be necessary. This is usually combined with orthodontic treatment.

why do I have crooked teeth?

There are several potential reasons why someone may develop

crooked or misaligned teeth.

  • Genetics: Tooth and jaw alignment is partly influenced by genetics. If a person's parents or grandparents had crooked teeth, they may be more likely to inherit this trait. The size and shape of the jaw and the way teeth erupt can be genetically predetermined.
  • Thumb-sucking or prolonged use of pacifiers: These habits can apply pressure on the teeth and jaws, causing them to shift out of their positions as they develop. Prolonged thumb-sucking or dummy use can contribute to crooked teeth.
  • Lack of space in the jaw: Sometimes, a person's jaw may be too small to accommodate all of their permanent teeth, causing them to become crowded and misaligned as they erupt.
  • Early loss of baby teeth: If baby teeth are lost prematurely due to decay or injury, the permanent teeth may not have enough space to erupt properly, leading to crowding and crookedness.
  • Injury or trauma: Accidents or injuries that affect the mouth and jaw area can cause the teeth to shift out of their proper positions, resulting in crookedness.
  • Mouth breathing or tongue thrusting: These habits can exert pressure on the teeth, causing them to shift over time.
  • Improper bite (malocclusion): Conditions like overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite can cause the teeth to become misaligned as they grow in

It’s important to note that crooked teeth are often a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Early orthodontic treatment or braces may be recommended to correct the alignment

and improve both the appearance and function of the teeth.

How to straighten teeth

  • How to straighten teeth
    To straighten crooked or misaligned teeth, orthodontic treatments like Invisalign clear aligners or traditional braces are often used to gradually shift teeth into proper positioning. For minor issues, composite bonding can reshape teeth, while porcelain veneers provide a more permanent solution by covering the front tooth surfaces for a straighter smile.
  • Can you get composite bonding on crooked teeth
    Yes, composite bonding can improve the appearance of mildly crooked teeth by reshaping them, though it doesn't actually reposition teeth. The dentist applies tooth-colored material to create a straighter look. It's more affordable than veneers or braces but may require removing some natural tooth structure, especially with severe crowding.
  • How to fix crooked teeth without braces
    Options to straighten teeth without metal braces include clear aligners like Invisalign and using porcelain crowns or bonding to modify tooth surfaces. However, the latter requires removing some natural tooth structure without actual straightening.

Concerns you may have around
crooked teeth

Difficulty cleaning crooked teeth properly, leading to cavities or gum disease.

Invisalign clear braces can straighten your teeth, making them easier to brush and floss.

Not liking how your crooked teeth look when you smile.

Straightening your teeth with braces or clear Invisalign clear aligners can give you a more attractive, aligned smile.

Having a poor bite that causes jaw pain or excessive tooth wear.

Invisalign can correct your bite by moving teeth into proper positions.

Difficulty chewing food properly because of misaligned teeth.
Once teeth are straightened, you'll be able to chew more comfortably and efficiently.
Getting food or debris easily stuck between crooked teeth.
Properly aligned teeth means fewer nooks and crannies for food to get trapped in.
Low self-confidence due to crooked teeth.
Fixing your smile with orthodontic treatment can boost your confidence and self-esteem.

Crooked Teeth FAQ

What causes crooked teeth?

  • Genetics: Inherited traits from parents can determine jaw size and tooth alignment.
  • Thumb sucking or pacifier use: Prolonged use beyond age 3 can affect the position of teeth.
  • Mouth breathing: Often due to allergies or enlarged tonsils, can influence jaw development.
  • Poor dental care: Early loss of baby teeth or adult teeth can cause shifting. Injury: Trauma to the mouth or jaw can displace teeth.

Can crooked teeth affect my health?

Yes. They can cause difficulty in cleaning, leading to plaque buildup, cavities, and gum disease. Misaligned teeth can also cause jaw strain, headaches, and speech difficulties.

How can crooked teeth be treated?

  • Braces: Traditional metal braces or ceramic braces.
  • Clear aligners: Such as Invisalign.
  • Retainers: Post-braces to maintain teeth position. Surgery: In severe cases, orthognathic surgery may be required.

At what age should I start treatment for my child's crooked teeth?

Orthodontic assessment: Around age 7 is ideal. Early intervention can guide jaw growth and tooth eruption.

Are there non-braces options for correcting crooked teeth?

Yes. Clear aligners and sometimes veneers for minor corrections.

How long does treatment take?

Varies. From 6 months to several years, depending on the severity of misalignment and the type of treatment.

Are crooked teeth hereditary?

Partially. Genetics play a significant role, but environmental factors and habits also contribute.

Can I fix crooked teeth at home?

No. Professional orthodontic treatment is necessary to safely and effectively correct misalignment.

How much does it cost to fix crooked teeth?

Varies. Costs can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the treatment method and severity.

Can adults get braces or aligners?

Yes. There is no age limit for orthodontic treatment. Many adults opt for clear aligners for aesthetic reasons.

Will fixing crooked teeth improve my overall appearance?

Yes. Straighter teeth can enhance facial symmetry and smile aesthetics.

Do crooked teeth get worse over time?

Yes. Without treatment, misalignment can worsen, leading to more complex dental issues.

Can braces be painful?

Initially. Discomfort is common during the adjustment period but generally subsides after a few days.

Are there any risks associated with orthodontic treatment?

Minimal. Common issues include temporary discomfort, risk of tooth decay if hygiene is poor, and potential for root resorption.

How do I maintain my teeth after treatment?

  • Wear retainers: As prescribed to maintain alignment.
  • Good oral hygiene: Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are crucial.

Can insurance cover orthodontic treatment?

Sometimes. Coverage varies by insurance plan and provider, and often includes limitations.