Why Does My Child Have Crooked Teeth?

Orthodontics, Dr. Derek Brown, Winning Smiles Orthodontics, Bowie and Hyattsville, MD
There are numerous reasons why teeth will erupt crooked.  Crooked teeth are caused by factors such as genetics,  mouth deformities and/or serious oral diseases. Genetics is usually responsible for situations such as extra teeth, missing teeth, impacted teeth, and abnormally large teeth. Other inherited traits involve jaws which are too small to accommodate a full dentition, as well as malaligned jaws that did not form properly in the womb.

How can I prevent my child from having a set of crooked teeth?

In most cases, underbites, overbites, and crooked teeth are genetically acquired and cannot be avoided. Orthodontic treatment with braces will be necessary to correct these situations.  Some early childhood behaviors  which may also contribute to the development of crooked teeth that can be avoided are;

  • Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting,
  • Premature loss of baby teeth due to decay before the permanent teeth have naturally forced them to exfoliate,
  • Allowing pacifier use to continue after front teeth have erupted.

Permanent teeth underneath baby teeth are directly affected by the health of the baby teeth. If baby teeth are prematurely lost due to decay or trauma, permanent teeth will shift when they start migrating into the mouth. Baby teeth are excellent place-savers for permanent teeth and they help guide them as they erupt through the gums.  Additionally, excellent care of baby teeth is vital to having healthy permanent teeth free of discoloration or decay. Harmful oral bacteria can spread into the gums and reach permanent teeth still buried in the gums. Once attached to a tooth’s enamel, bacteria will begin decaying the tooth even before it has a chance to actually fully erupt!

When Should My Child Start Orthodontic Treatment for Crooked Teeth?

Winning Smiles Orthodontics suggests that parents bring their children to see Dr. Derek E. Brown around age seven to rule out potential issues with permanent teeth eruption. If problems are discovered, it is not unusual to begin orthodontic treatment at that age.  In fact, early orthodontic treatment, also called Preventive or Phase I Orthodontics is typically so beneficial to the growth and development of the the teeth and jaws, that teeth are able to be guided into their ideal positions in a much easier, more efficient, and less aggressive fashion.

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