• Crooked Teeth – So Many Causes and So Few Solutions

  • What your child does at this age can affect the health of his permanent teeth.

    What your child does at this age can affect the health of his permanent teeth.

    There are several reasons behind baby teeth looking so straight and normal, but once the permanent teeth erupt, they come in crooked.

    These causes range from genetics to mouth deformities. Occasionally, we see problems caused by serious oral diseases.

    When extra teeth or unusually large teeth create a malocclusion (crookedness or misplacement of teeth), the cause is generally genetic in nature. There are also many other congenital or inherited traits that can cause alignment problems. Maybe the individual’s jaw is too small to house all the teeth. Sometimes individuals have jaws that are misaligned.

    Many parents hope to prevent crooked teeth, but in most cases this is impossible. Most overbites, underbites, and crooked teeth are not caused by environmental factors. There was nothing a parent could have done during infancy or during the toddler years, or even during the teen years to insure the teeth erupt straight.

    Once the child is old enough, orthodontic management will be required to correct the condition.

    There are a few things that can be avoided to keep teeth from coming in crooked, including:

    • Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting
    • Losing baby teeth to decay before permanent teeth have naturally pushed them out of their sockets
    • Allowing pacifier use to continue after front teeth have erupted

    Some parents do not recognize that the health of the baby teeth can directly affect the health of the permanent teeth. If baby teeth become decayed and are lost early, then the permanent teeth will shift as they start to move upward. Baby teeth function as a guide for permanent teeth as they erupt.

    Baby teeth that are not cared for properly can decay. This will potentially transport bacteria into the gums. This can reach the permanent teeth.

    Bringing a child into Dr. Croft at Columbia Orthodontics around age seven is a good way to rule out potential issues with permanent teeth eruption.