What are crooked or crowded teeth?

Crooked or crowded teeth occur when teeth erupt into the mouth and appear overlapped, angled, twisted or rotated.  One of the most common signs of crowding in the upper teeth are instanding front teeth or canine teeth (i.e. 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?

  • It is more difficult to clean crowded teeth. 
  • Severe crowding can lead to gum problems around the teeth, either with receding gums or teeth getting looser.
  • Front teeth bear more pressure than others. This results in them starting to wear down more than the other teeth. 
  • Crowded teeth can stop the adjacent adult teeth from coming out and cause them too erupt in an abnormal position.

What are the treatment options?

  • In children: 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 early to mid teens: 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 late teens to adults: Invisalign or other clear aligners, braces, or hidden braces attached to the insides of the teeth. 
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