27 Sep Crooked Teeth Treatment
Many people with crooked teeth are self-conscious about smiling, but crooked teeth can be problematic beyond aesthetics. Crooked or misaligned teeth are harder to keep clean, which can lead to other oral health problems. They can also make it challenging to eat and speak properly. If you have crooked teeth and want to know about the treatments available, here’s a brief primer:
Different types of crooked teeth
Crooked teeth is a general term that encompasses several different types of misalignment, involving either the teeth themselves or your bite:
- Crowding: too many teeth for the mouth space available
- Excessive spacing: large spaces between two or more teeth
- Open bite: upper and lower teeth do not touch when the mouth is closed
- Overbite: upper teeth close over the lower teeth
- Underbite: lower teeth close over the upper teeth
- Crossbite: one or more upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth
How crooked teeth affect your overall oral health
Straight, aligned teeth make daily oral health routines relatively easy, but crooked teeth set in odd angles can make it impossible for toothbrush bristles or floss to reach certain areas. In these conditions, the bacteria that cause plaque thrive, potentially leading to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss if decay is left untreated. Other oral health issues related to crooked teeth include:
- Wear and tear: Crooked teeth can sometimes rub against other teeth while chewing. The constant friction causes wear and tear on your enamel, leading to severe sensitivity.
- Bad breath: Bacteria that get trapped in areas toothbrushes and floss can’t reach can lead to persistent bad breath.
- Tooth injuries: Misaligned teeth that protrude from the arch are more susceptible to chipping, cracking or fracturing in the event of an injury or accident.
- Overall health issues: Studies have shown strong links between gum disease and other medical conditions such as heart disease, pneumonia, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer.
Treatments for crooked teeth
Fortunately, there are various options available for treating crooked teeth. The treatment that works best for you will be based on the severity of the misalignment, your budget, and your lifestyle.
- Traditional braces: Metal braces are attached to the teeth with brackets, bands and a flexible wire, which is tightened over time to encourage alignment. Ceramic braces are clear or tooth-colored instead of metal for a more low-profile look. Braces are the most inexpensive option for fixing crooked teeth, but there are downsides, such as limitations in what you can eat, difficulty with brushing and flossing, and the aesthetics of their visibility.
- Invisible braces: For adults with crooked teeth or anyone concerned about the aesthetics of braces, invisible braces are barely noticeable while functioning similarly to traditional braces. Invisible braces use custom-made plastic trays that are switched out every couple of weeks to guide teeth into alignment. One of the main advantages of invisible braces is their removability, which is a bonus for eating, brushing, and flossing. Invisible braces are one of the more expensive options for treating crooked teeth, and they are limited in the types of corrections they can make.
- Lingual braces: Lingual braces are similar in look and function to traditional braces, but instead of being placed on the outside of the teeth, they are attached to the inside, facing the tongue. Lingual braces are typically more expensive than traditional braces and often harder to keep clean, but they are completely unnoticeable, even more than invisible braces.
- Extractions and reshaping: In cases where misalignment is caused by overcrowding, you can have certain teeth removed to make room for the other teeth. If you have just a few crooked teeth but your overall alignment is mostly fine, you can fix the appearance with dental bonding, porcelain veneers, or crowns.
Crooked teeth treatment in San Diego
If you have crooked teeth and you dream of smiling a bright, straight smile, Smile Designers in San Diego offers several options. For more information on the best treatments for straightening your teeth call us at (619) 222-6000 to schedule a consultation today.