Orthodontic treatments can be lengthy. However, once teeth are crooked, there’s no other solution to straighten them other than braces.
Are crooked teeth preventable in children? Are there any ways to ensure your child has a perfect smile?
We asked our experts at iSmiles Kids Dentistry and Orthodontics in Corona, California, about what causes crooked teeth in children and what you can do about it.
Using a pacifier, especially after the age of two, can cause your child’s teeth to protrude forward as the sucking puts pressure on the front teeth. Using a pacifier can also change the swallowing habits of your child and the way they keep their tongue at rest, both of which have an impact on how teeth develop.
When you use your mouth to breathe, your tongue doesn’t sit snuggly on the roof of your mouth.
The tongue is supposed to place pressure on the palate and keep teeth growing evenly on both sides. Without the pressure from the tongue, the palate may get narrower and teeth may crowd in the front.
Thumb sucking can cause the front teeth to come forward as the tongue comes down. As with mouth breathing, it causes the palate to narrow.
Many parents don’t think the child’s primary teeth are important because they’ll be replaced anyway.
However, hygiene is key, as damaged teeth that are lost early can lead to gaps in a child’s smile. If the gaps aren’t addressed with a space maintainer, the surrounding teeth shift to fill in the gaps, causing misalignments.
Small jaws lead to crowded teeth because the teeth don’t have enough room to grow in a healthy manner. Some people have a genetic predisposition to smaller jaws, whereas others may suffer from vitamin deficiencies that lead to poor facial bone development.
Smaller jaws can also be a consequence of not chewing enough hard foods while growing up. Chewing on hard foods puts pressure on the teeth and jaw bones, encouraging growth.
Once the teeth are in a certain position, only orthodontic treatments can straighten them.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options for straightening teeth, both for adults and children. These range from metal braces to the nearly invisible transparent trays. If you or your child suffer from crooked teeth, contact us to schedule an appointment and find out more about the treatment options available.