Crooked/Crowded Teeth

What is are crooked or crowded teeth?

Crooked or crowded teeth are when the teeth erupt into the mouth and appear overlapping, angled, twisted or rotated.  One of the most common signs of crowding in the upper teeth are instanding front teeth/tooth OR the canine teeth (ie: the pointy teeth sitting outside and high).  In the lower teeth , overlapping of the front teeth is most common.

It is generally true that crowding naturally worsens from a child to a teenager, as they shed baby teeth and adult teeth start to erupt. This is because the adult front teeth are wider than the baby teeth that they replace.

Why do crooked teeth need to be corrected?

• Crowded teeth are more difficult to clean. In severe crowding, this can lead to gum problems around the teeth, either with receding gums or teeth getting looser.
• What one may not realise is that with crowded teeth, some front teeth bear more pressure than others. This results in them starting to wear down more than other teeth, or the crowding naturally getting worse over time.
• In a child and early teen where the adult teeth are erupt (coming out from the gums), crowded teeth can stop the adjacent adult teeth from coming out and cause them to erupt in an abnormal position.

What are the treatment options?

• In a child, front teeth crowding maybe a sign of a narrow upper jaw. Options for treatment range from an upper expander to reviewing later when more of the adult teeth have erupted.
• In an early to mid teenager, options for treatment are braces, invisalign or other clear aligners. If the crowding or overbite is severe, an expander, jaw guidance appliance or teeth removal may be required. In older teens, options for treatment are braces, invisalign or other clear aligners.
• In an adult, options for treatment are invisalign or other clear aligners, braces, or hidden braces attached to the insides of the teeth. Which is most effective and efficient in straightening your teeth would generally be discussed with you at the time of your orthodontic consultation.

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