Hereditary factors are not the only reason for crooked teeth. Here are four key considerations that can contribute to the misalignment of your teeth and jaws.
“Often, when the parents have crooked teeth, or if they have straight teeth without having done any orthodontics, we will see the same thing in their children,” Casey Lau, DDS, co-founder of ELIMS, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, crooked teeth are often hereditary. For example, if you inherit large teeth from your father and a small jaw from your mother, your teeth may become crooked as a result.
An inherited size discrepancy between your upper and lower jaws can also cause problems with the alignment of your teeth and jaws— including overcrowding or improper bite patterns.
Crooked teeth can also result from childhood habits. Thumb-sucking, prolonged bottle feeding, tongue thrusting, or using a pacifier beyond the age of three can all contribute to improper positioning of the teeth, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
“This is why it's so important to have early dental visits and we recommend parents have their child's first dental visit as early as 12 months old. This is more about parent education and discussing oral habits early,” Lau says.
Early Loss of Baby Teeth
Cavities resulting from improper dental care during childhood may cause the early loss of baby teeth.
“When kids lose teeth too early, back teeth can slide forward in the mouth, and then, the adult teeth that haven't come in yet may not have room to come in at all. Or, if they do, they come into the mouth in the wrong place—leading to crowding and crooked teeth,” Lau says.
Poor Oral Hygiene
The absence of a thorough oral hygiene routine could cause cavities, infection, and eventual tooth loss, according to Mayo Clinic.
Tooth loss has consequences for the overall alignment of your teeth. “If we don't take care of our teeth properly and it results in losing a tooth, then teeth can shift around and it can result in crowding or spacing," Lau says.
"Ultimately, this will lead to more damage to teeth and probably more tooth loss in the future,” Lau adds.
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