What are Crooked Teeth?
What we are dealing with here today is crooked teeth, not deformed teeth. Crooked means there are only minor problems, but nothing that would cause pain, eating problems, or speech problems. The forms we are talking about are small amounts of twisting, protruding, and gaps.
We are not covering missing teeth, protrusions that cause speech issues, or jaw issues.
If you have any of these issues with any of your teeth, you need to see a dentist. The problem could be far worse than you suspect. And don’t let price hold you back. Dental schools, networks of local dental offices like Kool Smiles and several government agencies offer low-cost to free procedures.
Is It Bad to Have Crooked Teeth?
When we are dealing with the minor problems from above: no, it is not bad to have crooked teeth. In fact, you are among the majority. According to the American Dental Association, over ¾ of all people have at least one malocclusion.
It’s the level of deformity that will determine if the crooked teeth are bad. Most dentists will not suggest braces or adjusting your teeth unless the crookedness impairs eating, talking, or causes pain. Although, we do find more and more dentists that are willing to use braces just for cosmetic reasons.
Are Crooked Teeth Genetic?
Yes and no. Some people have bad teeth that run in the family. But, just because your parent might have a gap, doesn’t mean you will. It could manifest as a twisted tooth, missing teeth, or even nothing at all.
What often matters more is dental hygiene and mouth habits.
Brushing and flossing from an early age, 3-4 years old, establishes good habits that will reduce plaque, gum disease, and cavities. It also helps to keep new, adult teeth in healthy conditions, which may reduce any formation and positioning problems.
Other habits, like sucking on a thumb, pushing the teeth with the tongue, and grinding all contribute to crooked teeth. The final one, mouth breathing, not only causes teeth problems, but also many respiratory issues. Doing any of these habits while the teeth are forming and coming it almost guarantees problems.
The most common crooked top teeth are the canines protruding, a crooked eye tooth, and a gap in the front teeth. The most common crooked bottom teeth issues are twisting.
Crooked Milk Teeth
Crooked baby teeth are not unusual because of sucking on the thumb and pacifier. It does not guarantee crooked adult teeth, although it can cause other issues. Most dentists are not concerned with baby teeth being crooked unless is causes other issues. It is rare for braces or other dental procedures to be used to fix these teeth.
Causes of Crooked Teeth
The “how do teeth become crooked” question is often answered like we just did above: thumb sucking, pushing against the teeth, and mouth breathing are the top answers. Sometimes, it is also genetic. Sometimes there are larger, underlying problems.
You should also know that your teeth move throughout your life. What could be crooked now may straighten in a few years. What is normal now may become twisted. In fact, I had a gap in my front teeth all through childhood and my teenage years. It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I really noticed it was closing. My dentist told me this was perfectly normal and we would watch to make sure the movement stopped. If it didn’t, I could risk pain, twisted front teeth, or even losing them altogether.
When your teeth become crooked, it can be a big emotional issue. First, visit your dentist. There are simple and complex reasons. You also have to know if your teeth are a little out of alignment or you have very crooked teeth. The solution depends on the level of problems.
Toddler Crooked Teeth Thumbsucking
This is the most common cause of baby teeth being out of alignment. The pressure exerted by the thumb is more than the fragile teeth and gums of the toddler can take. In general, pediatricians do not recommend that children be allowed to suck their thumbs once the teeth start showing for many reasons, including teeth issues, infection, and mental coping habits.
Problems with Crooked Teeth
One of the most common issues is whitening crooked teeth. It’s a big issue because the places where the teeth overlap is difficult for the creams and solutions to penetrate. It can give a mottled appearance.
But, why do you need to whiten in the first place? Well, food and bacteria can get trapped in the pocket created by the overlap. This causes all sorts of problems, like the bad breath we talk about later. The pocket of ‘stuff’ that’s trapped causes discoloration. It is made worse by smoking, eating colored processed foods, and drinking sodas.
Your dentist is the best option for a whitening treatment that will be consistent. If you use at home treatments *, then you must be careful to make sure it gets in all the hidden places.
Crooked Teeth Pain
Normally, crooked teeth do not cause pain. They are just like normal teeth, just at a different angle. But, sometimes there are issues that cause pain and you should always see your dentist if there is a pain.
The most common cause of pain in crooked teeth is pressure from incoming wisdom teeth. These teeth push on your jaw and teeth to make room. In some cases, the teeth are actually at the wrong angle and grow towards the teeth or TMJ joint. This is a serious issue and requires a dentist as soon as possible.
Other issues like cavities, gum recession, and breaks/fractures should be seen by a dentist. They happen to crooked teeth at the same rate as normal teeth.
Can Crooked Teeth Fall Out?
Unless there are other problems with your teeth: no, your teeth will not fall out because they are crooked.
When your teeth fall out, it is a structural problem caused by the roots and gums pulling away from your teeth. Simply being crooked will not cause that issue.
Common causes of this are gum disease, bad hygiene, and a poor diet.
Can Crooked Teeth Cause TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint)?
Yes, this is a possibility. If your teeth are causing structural changes to your jaw, it can impact the way the joint works. This is a serious issue and should be monitored by your dentist.
Can Crooked Teeth Cause Bad Breath?
Directly, no. But, crooked teeth can trap food bits and harbor bacteria more than other teeth. This causes bad breath. Good dental habits of brushing and flossing can eliminate this problem.
Can Crooked Teeth Cause Speech Problems?
Sometimes they can. If your teeth do not form a proper barrier or push at your mouth unusually, they can impair speech. More often than not, impaired speech occurs because people try to hide their teeth. Elocution lessons (you can find them free online) will help you to move your mouth properly.
Do Crooked Teeth Affect Singing?
Again, unless there is a jaw issue, no, crooked teeth will not impair any singing. The only issues come from trying to hide the teeth.
As a singer, you are often too far away from your audience for them to notice your crooked teeth. So, we recommend you don’t worry about it. Braces and retainers could cause more issues with your singing ability than crooked teeth.
Do Teeth Get More Crooked with Age?
Yes and no. Your teeth will move all your life. Once you are in your 20s, the growth and movement slow down significantly. As I said before, my gap closed, which meant my teeth improved. Yet, for other people, they may notice more crooked teeth.
Regular visits to your dentist will be able to monitor any changes your teeth go through. They will be able to catch problems before they become a problem. In many cases, a simple retainer can be a fix.
Beautiful Crooked Teeth
Crooked teeth can be attractive. Your teeth do not make you pretty or not. Yes, even crooked teeth can be cute.
Do crooked teeth make you unattractive?
Do guys care about crooked teeth?
Do girls care about crooked teeth?
Believe or not, most people really don’t care if your teeth are crooked or straight (only 30% care). In fact, people who are considered the most attractive, with the fewest flaws, are less likely to be asked out or have positive human relations.
Yes, your teeth are not perfect. Acceptance and ownership of your flaws are more attractive.
Models with Crooked Teeth
Check out these crooked teeth celebrities!
Georgia May Jagger
Billy Jo Armstrong
Famous Crooked Teeth
British Crooked Teeth
Why do British have crooked teeth? Well, they really don’t. At least, no more than the rest of the world. The biggest issue is that certain areas of the world, like the United States, places more importance on straight, white teeth than other places.
In Britain, the functionality of teeth is placed higher than appearance. Dentists are less willing to use braces and other straightening methods if there are no problems with biting, chewing, or pain.
In the US, a straight, white smile has great emphasis and people have pushed to make the standards reflect this.
Japanese Crooked Teeth
Why are crooked teeth attractive in Japan?
“Yaeba,” or multi-layer tooth (it says snaggletooth on google, but that’s not what the kanji say), is considered cute. There are people who find the imperfect smile endearingly childlike and attractive. The most common deformities are slightly protruding canines or a gap in the front teeth. Both of these are seen as cute and desired in teens and young adults. Both of these problems are considered minor and non-hindering.
Japan places high importance on both cute and embracing the imperfections.
The trend has gone so far that some dentists now offer procedures to create this look.
How to Hide Crooked Teeth when Talking?
How to Smile with Crooked Teeth?
One of the ways people try to hide their teeth is to move their mouths less when talking. The biggest problem comes from slurred words and mumbling. While people don’t often place competence decisions on crooked teeth, they do notice and look down upon poor speech.
The other option is to not talk (not realistic). Unfortunately, talking requires the moving of your mouth, jaw, tongue, and throat. This naturally exposes your teeth.
As does smiling. The bigger the smile, the more teeth show. Again, it’s unfortunate that the options are to smile less or force a smaller smile.
But this has a downside. Research shows people who laugh, are humorous and have a sense of humor are more intelligent. Other research shows people who laugh are able to grasp complex topics easier.
A Bit of Humor:
Funny Crooked Teeth Jokes
Yo' Mama's teeth are so crooked, when she smiles, it looks like her mouth is throwing gang signs.
Your teeth are so crooked that even the sharks scared of your overbite.
Your teeth have got so many gaps, it looks like piano keys.
Fixing Crooked Teeth
We’ll deal with braces and retainers later. For now, let’s look at the options.
Cosmetic Dentistry for Crooked Teeth
This is an expanding field of dentistry for people who have the finances to support it. Most often, insurance companies will not cover cosmetic adjustments. They will only cover the adjustments necessary for health.
Before making an appointment with a cosmetic dentist, check your insurance to see what is covered.
A cosmetic dentist will be able to make any smile look clean, white, and perfect. It may take time and a lot of work, but it can happen. There are many amazing before and after stories on the internet.
They will work with you to figure out the best course of action and really make sure you get the best smile.
Dental Implants for Crooked Teeth
An implant will replace a lost tooth. It will not straighten a tooth (the tooth was gone). In some cases, it is better to remove a tooth and replace it with a false one. Today, false teeth are so good, most people can’t tell the difference between a false tooth and a real one. They will match color, texture, and even imperfections.
An implant will need to be checked by a dentist regularly. There is a chance motion in other teeth could cause motion in the false tooth.
Crowns and Veneers for Crooked Teeth
These two treatments do not straighten teeth. They give the appearance of straight teeth because of a false shell over the crooked tooth. In some cases, this is preferable to straightening the tooth. It will help reduce motion of the tooth and look good at the same time. It is the only instant ‘fix’.
Dental Bonding for Crooked Teeth
Dental bonding also does not straighten crooked teeth. It can fill in gaps between teeth or where teeth overlap.
The Dreaded Braces
For the past several decades, braces have been the number one choice for dentists to fix crooked teeth. It is still the number one way, although the percentage jumping right to it is dropping.
They are used for difficult cases and when the people, usually teenagers, do not have the discipline for more hands-on techniques.
Do I need braces for one crooked tooth? In most cases, no. A dentist will often choose other remedies for a single tooth. You will need to talk to your dentist to see why the tooth is crooked and what your options are.
How Braces Straighten Crooked Teeth
Braces are designed to place constant, light pressure on the teeth that need to be moved. It might be just a few teeth or it might be all of them.
An attachment is adhered to the tooth that needs to be moved. Wires and bands are then used to create pressure to move the tooth to the position it should be in. The dentist will adjust the pressure every 2 to 4 weeks.
Normally, the pressure is very slight and most people only are in discomfort for a day or two after the adjustment. If it is more pain or for a longer time than what we just said, then you need to talk to your dentist as soon as possible.
After the braces have moved the teeth, a retainer is used to keep them in place. The dentist may recommend using the retainer only at night or all day. It may be for 6 months or several years. This is a highly variable time frame. Younger people will have a retainer for a longer time because the teeth have not yet fully grown and can move easily. Older people will need it less since their teeth are less prone to motion.
How Long Do I Need Braces to Straighten Crooked Teeth?
Wearing braces can last from 6 months to 5 years. It depends on the level of adjustment you need. Normally, the time from is around 2 years. Younger people will wear them less time, while older people require longer.
Fixing Crooked Teeth Without Braces
There are many ways to fix your teeth without surgery, braces, or drastic treatments. We’re going to cover many of them here.
Never attempt to fix, straighten, or adjust any of your teeth without the supervision of a dentist. Serious side effects can happen, including gaps, increased twisting, other teeth becoming out of place, jaw pain, gum problems, and teeth falling out.
Quickest Way to Fix Crooked Teeth
This is tricky section because there is no quick way to fix crooked teeth. It takes months to years to move a tooth back into place. The amount of time depends on the level of displacement.
Attempting to move a tooth too forcefully or too quickly will result in gum recession and loose teeth. The tooth has a strong possibility of falling out.
Retainers for Crooked Teeth
A retainer is often used with braces to help keep straightened teeth in place. And today, there are also several brands * that use clear plastic to help align teeth like braces.
The retainer requires discipline and adherence to the schedule. Without keeping up on the plan, the retainers fail. It’s why dentists are hesitant to offer this solution to teenagers.
Whether you get braces or a retainer, they work on the same principle. Many dentists are using these because they work. The benefit is the looks, as retainers have a lower distraction rate. The downside is it can only work for minor to moderate issues. Severe issues require braces.
Does Invisalign Work for Crooked Teeth?
Invisalign is like braces in the form of a retainer. The clear plastic mold fits over your teeth and the slight adjustments move your teeth. Your dentist plans out the changes and has a new mold created every 2 weeks.
It was the first clear braces to be marketed to the public, has the best name recognition, and it appears to be the brand dentists use most.
Straightening One Crooked Tooth
This is the best case scenario. If only one tooth is out of place, a retainer is often used to gently push the tooth into proper position. Your dentist may have other options available, so talk to them and see what they say.
Home Remedies for Crooked Teeth
The internet is filled with home remedies to fix crooked teeth. Unfortunately, they lack the follow up to know if actually works. On the other hand, dental websites and forums are filled with stories of dentists having to fix severe issues or replace lost teeth due to these home remedies. It seems to be rare a home fix without a dentist works.
You should never use a home remedy without a dentist’s supervision.
Among the remedies your dentist may approve of are tooth bands to close gaps and retainers from mail order companies. They may also recommend bridges, veneers, and crowns to stop progression and help reverse issues.
Crooked Teeth Surgery
Rarely do crooked teeth require surgery. This happens only in the worst cases where the teeth are causing pain, suddenly changing, or is the only other option. Dentists do not like to do this because it introduces damage to the gums and possible the jaw. If this is presented to you, be sure to get a second opinion.
How to Prevent Crooked Teeth
The best way is to avoid the causes.
When children breathe through their mouths, it is because there is a nasal issue beyond just a cold. If your child does this, be sure to take them to the doctor to discover the cause of the problem. Only when the root problem is fixed, you can break the habit of mouth breathing. If it only happens with a cold, then it’s not a problem; short term mouth breathing happens. But, if it happens often or at night, it could lead to other serious issues like sleep apnea.
This is simply a habit that requires vigilance by the parents. Stop your child from using a pacifier, sucking on objects, and using their thumb. Often, it is a habit that brings comfort. Not only does this cause tooth problems, this can manifest later in life as oral fixations that include eating or chewing on non-edible objects and overeating foods.
Pushing on Teeth:
This is a harder habit of fixing. When a child pushes their teeth, you often can’t see it. It can be caused by a bad habit or oral problem. Normally, a dentist will notice the issues before you do. Then, it is becoming a habit to remind the child to not push on their teeth. It is an issue you and your dentist will have to work together to fix.
This is a more serious issue that have roots in the TMJ joint and neck muscles. You will need to work with your dentist to discover a cause and solution. Most of the grinding occurs during sleep, which neither you nor your child has control over. Massage and chiropractic help improve this condition.
If your wisdom teeth are causing issues, the only solution is to remove the wisdom teeth. This may be considered surgery, depending on the degree the wisdom teeth are set within the gum.
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