It is incredibly common and not unusual for your child’s permanent teeth to grow in crooked. This problem may correct itself by the time they have fully grown in, but if they don’t then a visit to the dentist and orthodontist can help sort it out.
While genetics play a role in our teeth alignment, certain lifestyle and oral habits can encourage teeth to grow in crooked. It’s important to catch these habits early on and try to put a stop to them so they don’t have long-term consequences.
Types of Teeth Misalignments
There are many different ways that your child’s teeth can come in abnormally. They may have crooked teeth, malocclusions, or an abnormal bite. Some common issues with teeth alignment include:
- Overbite or underbite
- Crossbite or open bite
- Overcrowded teeth
- The bottom teeth are in a crooked V shape
- Teeth growing in at an angle or slant
When a child’s permanent teeth are growing in, it’s a good idea to keep a close watch on them. Since your child should start visiting the dentist by the age of 1, they should also be attending their regular 6-month dental checkups and cleanings.
A dentist will have expert knowledge of what is typical and what is abnormal for your child’s teeth and they can make recommendations for how to encourage normal growth. If it’s your child’s baby teeth that have come in crooked, this is not uncommon.
This can happen if the teeth are too small in proportion to the gum space for the tooth. This does not necessarily suggest that their permanent teeth will also grow in crooked.
Causes of Crooked Teeth & Other Malocclusions
While genetics certainly play a role in the cards we are dealt, certain oral hygiene habits and other lifestyle factors can negatively influence our teeth' growth. Your child may have excessively large teeth, a misaligned or small jaw, extra teeth in the mouth, or teeth that are spaced too far apart.
Lifestyle habits that can cause crooked teeth include:
- Sucking on a pacifier past 24 months old
- Thumb sucking
- Mouth breathing
- Poor oral hygiene
- Inadequate or unhealthy nutrition
- Tongue thrusting
It’s important to practice good oral hygiene such as brushing the teeth twice a day and flossing once a day as well as regular dental visits and adequate nutrition. This will prevent tooth decay and in worst cases, the loss of teeth. Missing teeth can cause teeth shifting and overcrowding, leading to crooked teeth.
Using pacifiers for an extended period and thumb sucking is also a very common issue that contributes to many oral health problems, including crooked teeth. Ideally, you should wean your child off of pacifiers between 12- 24 months old and discourage thumb sucking, because this is a much harder habit to break and is unsanitary.
Issues Associated With Crooked Teeth
Unfortunately, crooked teeth can cause other problems with your oral health aside from cosmetic appearance. Some problems associated with crooked teeth are:
- Excess wear and tear of the teeth/jaw/gums
- Difficulty chewing and eating
- Difficulty speaking clearly
- Gum disease
- Low self-esteem
- Improper digestion
Does Your Child Have Crooked Teeth? Contact Cascadia Kids Dentistry Today!
While crooked teeth can cause problems with a child’s self-esteem and oral health if left untreated, many orthodontic options can correct this. There’s no need for your child to suffer in silence, contact us at Cascadia Kids Dentistry today! Schedule an appointment with our excellent team and we will work with you to come up with the best treatment plan.