Misaligned teeth tend to make people self-conscious about their smiles. Crooked teeth, however, are a common dental problem in the United States. Other than low self-esteem that may arise from dissatisfaction with physical appearance, crooked teeth are also responsible for serious oral health concerns. These can lead to speech difficulties, interfere with proper chewing, and may cause tooth decay or gum disease due to difficulty in cleaning. If your teeth are misaligned, they can also give rise to wear and tear on the jaw, gum, and teeth, which result in jaw strain, headaches, and cracked teeth.
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Orthodontic Treatments across America
Many orthodontic treatments are being offered nowadays in different states that can help you achieve a straighter smile. The development of technologically advanced options allows a more effective and comfortable experience. However, various factors may affect your decision to realign angled teeth, including but not limited to the cost of treatment.
Generally, orthodontic care is more expensive on the coasts than in the middle of the country. For instance, as a Midwestern state, braces cost in Ohio usually fall in the lower half of the national average. Other deciding factors may include improving your quality of life and boosting your self-confidence.
Let’s look at the causes and available treatments for crooked teeth to help you achieve a confident smile.
Causes of crooked teeth
Your teeth can grow slanted or become crooked over time. Misaligned baby teeth do not always translate into having crooked permanent teeth, but certain problems affecting baby teeth can also cause crowding in permanent teeth. The most frequently reported culprits behind crooked teeth are listed below:
Our jaws have evolved in size to accommodate the modern processed diet that requires less chewing, as opposed to the raw diets of our early ancestors. However, having smaller jaws can also end up causing crowded and crooked teeth.
If you have gum disease, it can loosen your teeth and affect your bite, which eventually may cause the misalignment of your teeth.
3. Facial Injury
Trauma to the face can displace your teeth and jaw or injure your gums, causing crooked teeth. Without treatment, even a single displaced tooth can push the other teeth to realign as per the damage.
4. Oral hygiene and dental care
Poor oral hygiene can put you at an increased risk for gingivitis and periodontitis, which can cause your teeth to loosen, shift, or fall out. It is ideal to get your teeth checked by a dentist regularly to prevent and treat any dental issues that can cause crooked teeth.
5. Orofacial myofunctional disorders
These are repetitive behaviors that can affect your muscles and the functioning of your mouth. Chronic mouth breathing and tongue thrusting, also called reverse swallowing, are common habits that can lead to malocclusion. The continuation of thumb sucking or prolonged pacifier use by a child, even after permanent teeth start to erupt, is another reason behind teeth misalignment.
6. Early loss of baby teeth
The early loss of primary teeth in a child might not seem like a big issue, as they are eventually supposed to fall out. However, the gap left behind by the lost tooth can cause the other teeth to shift towards the empty space, which will then become crowded when a permanent tooth starts growing.
The various types of malocclusion, including underbite or overbite, can be genetic in nature. You might inherit a small jaw from one parent and large teeth from the other that can result in crowded teeth and a crooked smile.
As people age, their teeth tend to shift naturally, becoming slightly misaligned over time. It is also important to wear a retainer after you have your braces taken out otherwise, as time passes, your teeth may start to shift back to their previous position.
Treatment options for crooked teeth
There are various dental devices available for realigning crooked teeth. The choice of treatment is based upon your requirements that are gauged by an experienced orthodontist. Some common dental treatments for correcting misalignment are as follows:
- Metal braces
Everyone is familiar with these traditional braces that come with brackets, bands, and a flexible wire. Metal braces are a great option for people with complicated alignment issues. The modern versions are smaller and more comfortable and give you the flexibility of personal customization with colorful elastics.
- Ceramic braces
If you want the effectiveness of metal braces but shy away from the chunky metallic look, then opt for ceramic braces. The brackets and archwires on these clear braces are made of ceramic material that blends well with your teeth color, making them less noticeable.
- Clear aligners
For a more discreet look, clear aligners like Invisalign are a convenient and comfortable choice says this trustworthy dentist in Pasadena CA. These removable mouthguard-like pieces fit onto your teeth and require replacement after every few weeks. Clear aligners work gradually to straighten your teeth but might not be recommended for severe cases of crooked teeth.
- Lingual braces
These are like metal braces, but they only cover the side of your teeth that faces the tongue, blocking them from view. Lingual braces may take longer to work and are also ineffective against severe misalignment.
- Dental veneers
These are thin composite or dental porcelain covers that are fastened to your teeth over a long period. Dental veneers work well for readjusting any small gaps or slight misalignments in your teeth.
If your teeth require only minor adjustments to realign then retainers can do the trick. They are required for maintaining teeth alignment after braces but work just as well for minimal overcrowding.
- Teeth-straightening surgery
Your orthodontist might suggest a surgical procedure to realign your jaw or reposition the gums and bones that keep your teeth in place. These procedures can prove helpful for those struggling with speech or chewing ability and can cut down on the time you need to wear braces.
Crooked teeth are a common dental concern among Americans. They can induce low self-esteem and are responsible for multiple oral health problems. The reasons contributing to the development of uneven teeth include shorter or misaligned jaw, poor dental care, facial injury, or genetics. You can choose to get your teeth aligned by opting for corrective devices that range from the trusted metal braces to the more discreet Invisalign. So, choose a dental device that is best suited to your needs and get ready to flaunt a gorgeous smile!