Figuring out how to fix crowded teeth is important not just for your smile, but also for your dental health. The main issue with crowded teeth is that they are harder to clean, which can put you at risk of gum disease and tooth decay, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. Learn more about the basics of teeth crowding and the treatment options available.
What Is Teeth Crowding?
Teeth crowding occurs when there is insufficient room for the teeth, causing the teeth to become crooked, overlapped, or rotated. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, crowded teeth are a form of malocclusion, sometimes referred to as a “bad bite.”
The primary cause of teeth crowding is a hereditary mismatch between the size of the teeth and the jaw. The American Association of Orthodontists notes that it’s important for children to have an orthodontic examination by the age of seven. This is because, by this time, the incisors have begun to erupt and crowding can therefore be detected.
Other causes of teeth crowding include the loss of teeth, extra teeth, impacted teeth, trauma to the jaw or teeth, and tumors of the jaw, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Solutions That Can Help
The following are options for fixing crowded teeth:
Braces. Traditional braces have metal wires and brackets, but other options include ceramic brackets that camouflage better or lingual braces that go on the back of the teeth rather than on the front. The main concern that patients have with braces is that they’re not aesthetically pleasing.
Veneers. If you have only one or two crowded teeth, a cosmetic dentist can install veneers to fix crowding in as little as two visits. The drawback is that veneers can come loose and chip. Also, since your tooth enamel will be removed in order to install veneers, they are irreversible, according to the American Dental Association.
Dental aligners. If you are wondering how to fix teeth crowding without braces, dental aligners are your answer. “Clear aligners are the most comfortable cosmetic solution to straighten crowded teeth. Unlike conventional braces, they are smooth, invisible and you remove them to eat and brush and floss normally,” Tom Ryan, DDS, a dentist from Tinley Park, Illinois, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
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