At our dental office in Austin, we’re honored to take care of your family’s smiles. From regular cleanings, fillings, and restorative dentistry, we’re here to ensure healthy grins all around. But what happens if your teeth are crooked or overlap? Is it something to worry about? The truth is, if teeth aren’t straight and lined up correctly, we may recommend orthodontics — and for good reasons.
Straight Teeth Are Healthier Teeth
Having a set of straight teeth can directly affect both dental health and mental health. Unfortunately, too many people are worried and bothered by crooked teeth- which can keep them from laughing and smiling with confidence. Getting a straighter smile can transform someone’s self-esteem and boost confidence.
Crooked teeth are also more difficult to clean properly due to the overlapping and overcrowding. When we aren’t able to properly brush and floss our teeth, our risk for decay, cavities, and even gum disease increases. If not treated quickly, these dental problems can lead to more serious concerns or need for advanced treatment, such as a root canal, fillings or a crown, and even tooth loss.
Orthodontic issues may also lead to advanced oral health problems as well as whole-body concerns. A smile with uneven teeth can make breathing difficult and could eventually lead to sleep apnea, which is a serious problem. Many sleep apnea sufferers actually stop breathing several times a night! This alone has been linked to constant sleepiness and poor concentration at school or work. Additionally, a misaligned smile may make chewing difficult, contribute to digestive problems, and even diminish bone density in the jaw.
Straight Teeth May Still Need Orthodontics
The main goal of orthodontics is usually to create a symmetrical, straight smile. However, there are times when a visibly straight grin still needs orthodontics. Why? The bite, or the way the teeth come together, may be off. This is known as malocclusion or a “bad bite.” If left untreated, a misaligned bite could result in pain and long-term complications. It’s best to get an evaluation from your dentist in Austin so that any potential problems are caught and treated before they have a chance to turn into large issues including:
- Increased risk for chipped teeth
- Speech impairment in kids
- Severe headaches
- Damage to tooth enamel
What Causes Crooked Teeth in the First Place?
Even though crooked teeth are incredibly common, no one thing causes them. Some of the things that can contribute to a crooked smile include:
- Poor habits as a child such as thumb sucking
- Early tooth loss before an adult tooth is ready to erupt
- A small jaw
- Facial injury
- Mouth breathing
- Incorrect tongue posture
If you’re unhappy with your smile or are unsure whether you or a family member could benefit from orthodontic treatment, call your Austin dentist for a checkup. Dentists are trained to identify whether a crooked grin may be troublesome and will be able to recommend the best orthodontic treatment for your individual case.