Being a teenager isn’t easy, and worrying about crooked teeth doesn’t have to be another burden. Feeling self-conscious about your smile can limit social opportunities and leave teenagers focusing on their looks even more than normal! However, aesthetics aside, crooked teeth can also have an impact on your teenager’s health, because they can cause a range of problems such as:
• Gum or jawbone disease (periodontal disease)
• Risk to general health
• Excessive tooth wear and trauma
Why aren’t the teeth straight?
Misaligned bites are often inherited traits, but teeth can also become crooked as children grow and experience adolescence. Factors such as poor oral hygiene and bad habits can play a part too – biting pens or fingers, excessive use of toothpicks or persistently resting your chin on your hand whilst you’re on your laptop or games console for example. Accidents, extractions or permanent teeth not erupting after the baby teeth have fallen out can all cause teeth to come out, leaving gaps that can be unsightly as well as causing neighbouring teeth to move out of line.
Can anything be done to prevent teeth becoming crooked?
Anyone who lost teeth early as a child, or whose mouth is naturally very small, may be pre-disposed towards misaligned teeth. However, the good news is that preventative steps can be taken, and establishing good habits in the following areas can help ensure teeth stay as straight as possible:
• Don’t bite your nails, chew pens or blow bubbles with gum; these can all have an accumulated impact on your teeth
• Fix any gaps where teeth are missing – these cause the force of chewing to be redistributed on nearby teeth
• Try not to rest your head on your hands when working – this causes uneven pressure on the jaw that can cause your teeth to move
• Check wisdom teeth. Our DentalCareXtra team can advise whether removing some or all of the wisdom teeth may help address any overcrowding
• Don’t sleep on your front – the subtle, repeated pressure of sleeping on your stomach can cause teeth to shift over time