What causes crooked teeth?

August 2, 2021
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Posted By: Waterways Dental

We aren't all born with a perfect set of teeth. In fact, the majority of us aren't. But what causes crooked teeth? I'm sure it's a question we have all asked ourselves at least once, especially if we are the ones that have crooked teeth. 

Some of the causes of crooked teeth include: 

  • Inherited from your parents (thanks Mum and Dad)
  • Mouth breathing
  • Swallowing incorrectly
  • Incorrect tongue position 
  • May have also lost some baby teeth a bit too early 

Whilst genetics play a small part in how your face develops, modern research shows us that poor myofunctional habits are becoming more prevalent.  

What are myofunctional habits? The word itself is a bit of a mouthful, but in a nutshell, this is how we are breathing, how we hold our tongue in our mouth and how we swallow. Poor Myofunctional habits include mouth breathing, reverse swallowing and tongue thrusting. In children, this can also include dummy or thumb sucking. 

Thankfully here at Waterways Dental, we offer pre-orthodontic treatment such as Myobrace that helps correct poor myofunctional habits early in life. Correcting poor myofunctional habits early will hopefully remove the need for more in-depth orthodontic treatment, such as traditional braces or Invisalign, later on. We like to look at this as a natural way of straightening teeth. 

We are lucky that we have Penny here at Waterways Dental. Penny is an Oral Health Therapist and a Myofunctional Therapist. Penny is also a certified thumb-sucking program provider.

Unfortunately, another contributing factor towards crooked teeth is when children lose baby teeth too early in life. Losing baby teeth can be for several reasons, but the biggest cause is tooth decay. One in four children in Australia has untreated tooth decay.

Occasionally we hear people say, “it’s just a baby tooth; it will come out eventually anyway,” so they want to avoid spending money on that tooth. Untreated tooth decay can turn into an infection, which in turn can result in the tooth needing to be removed. Rather than looking at it as “just a baby tooth”, we need to start looking at it as a “place holder” for the adult tooth. If the baby tooth is lost too early, the teeth on either side can shift or tilt, moving into the position the baby tooth once held, resulting in not enough room for the adult tooth to come through straight.  
Here at Waterways Dental, we try to be as proactive as possible when it comes to our patient’s dental health. We would prefer to catch issues while they are still small, to hopefully avoid them becoming a bigger issue down the road. This is why we recommend six-monthly checkups and cleans, starting from an early age.

We offer no-charge orthodontic evaluations for both children and adults. To book an appointment, please phone one of our friendly team members on 07 5572 6522.