PART 1 – WHY YOU HAVE MISALIGNED TEETH
Your teeth are meant to fit within your mouth with no spacing or crowding issues so that they can function as they should. They should be in a straight position with no twisting or rotation. The teeth in your upper jaw should also form a slight overlap with the teeth in your lower jaw to allow your molars to meet correctly.
The Disadvantages of Misaligned Teeth
Any misalignment, or malocclusion, in your teeth, can result in a wide range of oral health complications. It can interfere with how well you can chew your food and can make cleaning your teeth more difficult, exposing you to the increase chances of having cavities, gingivitis or tooth decay. It can also be a source of embarrassment, making your feel self-conscious about your smile and overall appearance.
Causes of Misaligned Teeth
- Lower and upper jaws that are malformed or are not the same size
- Trauma that results in jaw misalignment
- Abnormally shaped teeth
- Extended bottle feeding during early childhood
- Thumb sucking during early childhood
- Regular use of the pacifier after the age of three
- Improperly fitted devices, such as crowns, fillings or braces
PART 2 – WHAT YOU CAN DO TO CORRECT YOUR MISALIGNED TEETH
The treatment of misaligned teeth during childhood is most effective as it can prevent alignment issues that can be very difficult and expensive to resolve in the future. Children who are at least seven years old may be treated with the correct dental appliance to straighten their teeth.
The type of treatment you receive will depend heavily on the type of misaligned teeth you have. Cases in which the misalignment of the teeth is very slight may not require treatment. Mild cases of misaligned teeth may require the use of dentures, crowns, veneers or bridges to improve the alignment of your teeth and jaw. However, for most cases, especially those in which the misalignment is severe, you may be treated with braces.
Each of the various types of braces is used to correct a particular misalignment issue. The type of braces your orthodontist may recommend will depend on your unique teeth and personal needs:
- Invisible Aligners: These types of braces are best used for mild cases of misaligned teeth. With their clear color, they are almost unnoticeable. They are removable and can be more costly than other types of braces.
- Fixed Braces: These can be made from metal or ceramic. A bracket is attached to the front of each affected front tooth in the upper and lower jaws and is linked together using orthodontic wires. Metal braces are less expensive and more effective than ceramic braces. However, ceramic braces tend to look more natural.
- Lingual Braces: These are fixed metal braces that are used to treatment misalignment of the back teeth. They may be more suitable for adults and can be a challenge to keep clean.
Cases of misaligned teeth are treatable for both children and adults. Speak with your dentist to determine which treatment options are most suitable for you.