They say a smile is worth a thousand words. But when your smile is full of crooked teeth, you may be way less inclined to show it off.
In most cases, everyone has a crooked tooth here or there. But for some, crooked teeth are a source of self-consciousness or even pain and discomfort if the misalignment is severe enough.
The good news is that you do not have to live with crooked teeth forever with modern dentistry. There are many teeth alignment treatment options such as braces or Invisalign that can fix your concerns and give you the bright, straight smile you have always wanted.
Continue reading to find out what typically causes misaligned teeth and crooked teeth treatment costs and options.
What causes crooked teeth?
Teeth may come in crooked the first time around when cutting baby teeth or when getting permanent teeth in childhood. One of the more common reasons for this is if your jaw is too small for the size of your teeth or too small to fit them all correctly.
In fact, some believe that modern humans are actually born with smaller jaws compared to our ancestors because of the accessibility to and types of food we eat. Because of this, your teeth may become crowded and crooked to try to fit in the space they have.
Genetics may play some role in the alignment of your teeth. For instance, if you share the same small bone structure as your mom, meaning a small jaw, your teeth may be too crowded. Or, if your dad has an overbite or underbite, where lower or upper teeth jut out too far, you may also.
Unfortunately, there isn’t anything you can do to prevent genetics from affecting how your teeth grow.
Many children develop habits in early childhood that lead to crooked teeth. These habits can sometimes cause soft gums and teeth to grow in a misaligned way or may even move the teeth after they have come in.
Habits such as thumb sucking, extended use of a pacifier, tongue thrusting, or even mouth breathing can affect the alignment of your teeth if the habit extends into toddler years and beyond.
It may seem far-fetched, but oral health and care play into the way your teeth are aligned. If you do not visit a dentist regularly, you may develop gum disease or other health problems that can affect the alignment of your teeth.
Focusing on nutrition also helps your teeth to grow strong. Watch out for sugary foods that may cause enamel, gum, and tooth decay.
Of course, your teeth may become crooked if you are involved in an accident or situation where your mouth is damaged. Whether you were a child or an adult, you can carry those crooked teeth into the present.
Tooth cracks and breaks often happen in these scenarios, but it is also possible that an accident may cause teeth to shift or grow in a misdirected manner.
Treatments for Crooked Teeth
The longest-standing and most common method of fixing crooked teeth are metal bracket braces. These brackets are attached to each tooth and then threaded with a wire that is slowly adjusted to align your teeth into the correct position.
This traditional method takes 1-3 years to achieve desired results, depending on the severity of the misalignment. The cost of braces varies widely depending on location, dentist, length, and process, but the overall price falls between $2,000-$4,000 in most cases.
Most dental insurance plans will cover some portion of the cost if you have a policy in place.
The newest popular innovation in teeth alignment is clear aligners as a braces alternative. These aligners are virtually invisible.
To create aligners, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth and create a tray that you wear all day and night. They will exchange this tray at certain intervals to slowly move and align your teeth.
While they typically work on a slower timetable than traditional braces and could be more expensive, aligners are a great alternative to braces for those who prefer a hidden and less obvious option.
Getting Started On Straightening Crooked Teeth
If your crooked teeth are not affecting your health and comfort, you may choose to keep the unique feature. But if you are self-conscious about your smile or need to avoid future complications, you have the option of fixing your smile as soon as you find a trusted dentist.
Many dentists may refer you to an orthodontist, but we offer teeth straightening services in our office. With clear dental aligners, you can begin your journey towards the straight smile of your dreams. Schedule a visit with us by calling 480-838-3033.