Whether your family dentist talked with you about braces or maybe you’re just considering orthodontic treatment, you may be wondering if it’s worth it! At Caudill & McNeight Orthodontics, we believe that a beautiful, healthy smile is worth the journey. And it doesn’t hurt to know a little more about how your teeth can affect your quality of life. One common orthodontic problem that many new patients come to us concerned about is crowded teeth.
So let’s explore how crowded teeth affect your smile health and how this condition is treated!
What causes crowded teeth?
Your smile starts to become overcrowded when there isn’t enough room in your jaw for your teeth to fit in their healthy spaces. A few different factors can cause crowding, such as:
- Genetics. Yes, orthodontic conditions are often hereditary! Because genes are responsible for creating everything from your eye color to your nose shape, they also play a part in how your smile grows and develops. So if you needed braces as a child, your children may need them too.
- Tooth shape. Every tooth in your mouth isn’t the same shape as they all serve different purposes – from incisors to molars and canines. Some shapes take up more room than others and can lead to more crowding.
- Early tooth loss. Your baby teeth play a vital role in the health of your adult teeth! Not only do they allow you as an infant and beyond to chew solid foods, but they also preserve the space for adult teeth to emerge. So whether your child lost baby teeth earlier than most due to decay or an accident, it’s important to schedule an orthodontic evaluation around age 7 so crowding doesn’t become an issue for them.
- Poor habits: Thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, or using a pacifier beyond age 4 can greatly affect how your child’s teeth grow and develop. This is because the repetitive force can negatively affect the healthy development of their palate, causing narrowing of the upper jaw and crowding of the front teeth.
- Congenital disorder or rare conditions. These abnormalities found at birth (or in pregnancy) can cause orthodontic issues like crowded teeth such as those with cleft palate or hyperdontia.
How does teeth crowding affect your smile?
There’a few different ways to refer to this orthodontic condition: overlapping, overcrowding, or crowded teeth. It’s easily noticeable as your teeth look bunched together, often crooked or twisted and overlapping. Because of the way crowded teeth are spaced together, they can cause problems with your overall oral health and more:
- Low self-esteem. Because crowded teeth are easier to spot than most orthodontic conditions, it’s unfortunately often the target of bullies. If you’re experiencing crowded teeth as an adult, it can also impact your self-confidence as those with teeth in healthy alignment are seen as more attractive and intelligent.
- Speech difficulties. In some cases, crowded teeth can affect your speech. So if you or your child has trouble pronouncing “s” and “sh” sounds, teeth crowding may be to blame.
- Hard to clean teeth. Crowded teeth tend to overlap one another, making it difficult to get a thorough clean with brushing and flossing which puts you at an increased risk of developing cavities and gum disease.
- Trouble chewing. Teeth crowding creates unhealthy alignment in your jaw which can lead to discomfort while chewing and potential jaw issues like TMJD.
What if I have mild crowded teeth?
About 30 to 60% percent of people have this common orthodontic condition and most of them have only mildly crowded teeth. At first this might not seem like a significant problem, but leaving them untreated can still lead to the issues listed above. You can always schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced orthodontists (Dr. Caudill, Dr. McNeight, or Dr. Naglieri) if you’re unsure of whether your crowded teeth can lead to problems for you.
How do you fix crowded teeth?
Ready to say goodbye to your teeth crowding problems? Orthodontic treatment can help you! At your first visit with us, our team will take digital x-rays, grab a few diagnostic photos, and a highly experienced orthodontist will perform a comprehensive exam on your smile. From there, you’ll have a few treatment options to choose from if we think you’d benefit from treatment…
- Braces. This is traditional orthodontic treatment as most know it. Metal brackets and wires gently move teeth into healthy alignment under the care of your orthodontist. We offer self-ligating braces which use a clip and slide technology to reduce friction during tooth movement, giving you a more comfortable smile journey.
- Invisalign. Invisalign is the most well-known and popular clear aligner brand out there. Each tray is custom-made for your orthodontic journey and gently (and discreetly) moves your teeth to reveal your dream smile.
Still have questions about teeth crowding problems?
Having crowded teeth can affect your self-esteem and oral health if left untreated. If you’re ready to have the perfect smile you’ve been dreaming of, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our friendly team can assess your smile health and recommend a smooth and comfortable treatment option that works for you.
Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today!