Crooked teeth are a common condition many people are born with. They are one of the common dental concerns our office treats. Not only an aesthetics issue, misaligned teeth can also actually lead to oral health issues. Getting treatment to straighten your teeth can boost your self-esteem and help preserve your teeth and gums. Dr. Elizabeth Duling is an expert dentist in Owens Cross Roads, AL, providing several options for patients to get straight teeth.
Causes of Crooked Teeth
Crooked teeth are a common problem across the country. However, some people have more severe cases than others. Various things can cause crooked teeth, and you may suffer from one or multiple causes.
Genetics plays a prominent factor in the state of your teeth. If you notice one or both of your parents have crooked teeth, you’re more likely to suffer the same fate. Genetics factor into the size and shape of your teeth, the size of your jaw, and your other facial features. This all plays into the alignment of your teeth and how they’re situated in your mouth.
If your jaw is too small, your teeth won’t have enough room to align properly. The adult teeth struggle to come in properly, will be overcrowded, and may overlap. Childhood habits like prolonged pacifier use or thumb sucking can cause this condition. Constant pressure on certain teeth and areas of the mouth impacts their development. Teeth can be pushed forward or become crooked.
In addition, premature baby tooth loss impacts how adult teeth come in and develop. Baby teeth create proper space for the adult teeth when they’re ready to grow. If you lose these teeth prematurely, other teeth around them may shift and move to cover the gap. This blocks the path the developing teeth are meant to follow, causing them to be misaligned when they grow.
The Health Benefits of Straight Teeth
Crooked teeth aren’t just an aesthetic issue. A straight, balanced smile is healthier. For example, crooked teeth are much harder to clean than straight ones. They’re cramped and come together at odd angles. Some spaces may be so tight that you can’t get dental floss between them.
Even our specialized dental tools may be unable to clean the area effectively. You’re at a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease, even if you do everything right.
Crooked teeth give you a misaligned bite. When your upper and lower jaw come together, the pressure distributes evenly throughout your teeth when straight. When they aren’t, some of your teeth get more pressure than others. These teeth will wear down faster and be more prone to cracks and breaks. They’re also more likely to suffer from problems with tooth decay and sensitivity because they have less enamel.
A misaligned bite is one of the main causes of TMJ disorders. The jaw joint doesn’t track smoothly when the bite doesn’t come together properly. It causes the joint to break down slowly.
This leads to pain and tension throughout the jaw and face. You can experience popping and clicking when you move your jaw, and your jaw can get stuck in certain positions. TMD is a debilitating condition that gets worse with time.
Treatment for Crooked Teeth in Owens Cross Roads, AL
There are multiple ways we can treat your crooked teeth. In some cases, for severe misalignment, we may refer you to a local orthodontist for more extensive treatment. We also provide convenient and modern orthodontic treatments in our office:
This clear aligner system is a popular method to straighten crooked teeth. Unlike metal braces, Invisalign uses plastic aligners. They are clear and discreet, making them hardly noticeable. To begin this treatment, we will take digital impressions of your teeth. Then, aligners are custom-made to fit perfectly on your teeth.
You will wear them for at least 22 hours a day. About every one to two weeks, you will move on to your next set of aligners. Your teeth will move into the proper position in about six to twelve months.
This system is similar to Invisalign. ClearCorrect is also an aligner system that uses clear, plastic aligners. However, this plastic is made from a thinner and lighter material.
Because the aligners use thinner material, ClearCorrect is less noticeable than Invisalign. However, ClearCorrect aligners are not as durable. The treatment time for this clear aligner system is six, twelve, or more months.
Six Month Smiles
These braces are similar to metal braces but more discreet. Six Month Smiles uses clear elastics, brackets, and wires that match the color of your teeth. This clear braces system is designed to straighten teeth in about six months. Six Month Smiles is a good option for patients with mild to moderate orthodontic issues. It is meant only to treat the teeth in your smile line or the teeth that show when you smile.
How Do You Cover Slightly Crooked Teeth?
Dental bonding and porcelain veneers are great options if you have crooked teeth but do not need orthodontic treatment. These treatments will cover the front of slightly crooked teeth to make them appear straight. Bonding and veneers are best for cosmetically crooked teeth or teeth that appear slightly crooked but do not impact the bite. Teeth bonding treatment and dental veneers use tooth-colored materials to cover one or more cooked teeth. They can create a straighter-looking smile.
How Do You Keep Teeth Straight?
After orthodontic treatment, you wear a retainer to keep your teeth straight. Wearing this appliance daily will prevent your teeth from shifting out of place. Patients who do not wear their retainer for long enough or lose their retainers can experience crooked teeth. Sometimes, patients need additional orthodontic treatment after braces of Invisalign if their teeth shift out of place. Wearing a retainer consistently will prevent problems like orthodontic relapse.
Book a Consult for Crooked Teeth in Owens Cross Roads, AL
Crooked teeth can lead to many issues. If you are ready to address your crooked teeth in Owens Cross Roads, AL, schedule a consultation with Dr. Elizabeth Duling today. Call our office at 256.202.4186 or use our online appointment request form.
Don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have questions about your crooked teeth. We’re here to find the right treatment to meet your goals.