Beauty standards will always vary across the globe. One beauty standard that most nations of the world have perfectly aligned teeth. A good set of teeth will normally equal a good jawline.
However, not all people are born with straight teeth or even want to have them. Some are perfectly happy with what they have. There are also cultures in the world that practice tooth blackening, and this is their standard of beauty.
Crooked teeth are conventionally unattractive in the vast majority of cultures. But in Japan, crooked teeth can be attractive. It’s common to undergo a procedure to have crooked teeth. This phenomenon is called yaeba, which means multilayered. It’s considered cute and childlike by Japanese men.
The Origins of Crooked Teeth
There are a lot of possible causes for a child to have crooked teeth. One of the reasons stems from mothers introducing supplemental feeding to their babies. The infants don’t have to suck as hard since the milk flows easily. The mouth, lips, and cheeks don’t have to work as hard. As a result, the jaw does not develop to its full potential, leading to crowded teeth (Kohn, 1936).
Crooked teeth come more from your environment than your genetics. Our ancestors did not have crooked teeth; it is a recent phenomenon that has arisen due to a lack of hard foods in our diet. But some people are still more susceptible to developing misaligned teeth. You will probably have the same set of teeth as your parents, assuming your diet is the same. You might also inherit your parents’ mouth size. If your ancestors have a smaller mouth, chances are there is less space to grow teeth.
If your mouth has little space for teeth to grow in, your teeth will likely be crooked. Any skeletal abnormalities such as a recessed maxilla or jaw will create a risk of crooked teeth.
Tooth Growth in Childhood
How your teeth grew in childhood will also affect your adult teeth. Some teeth come in too early or too late, thus pushing away the other teeth. Adult teeth sit directly at the bottom of your baby teeth and try to make room for themselves.
Crooked teeth usually happen when a person’s jaw is too small, and the teeth are too crowded. While its roots are still intact, adult teeth might grow in front or even behind baby teeth. This results in even more crowding of the teeth.
Pacifiers and thumb-sucking are common practices for soothing infants, but if these habits continue into toddlerhood, it might affect teeth development. It will also cause severe overbites if the child keeps on pushing the pacifier or his thumb on the roof of their mouth.
Not all crooked teeth are because of genetics or childhood habits. Sometimes they’re a result of an accident. This usually happens due to sports or car accidents.
It’s important to check with your orthodontist and see what he can do after the accident. The reason behind this is that trauma to the teeth is so much easier to fix if the doctor sees them immediately after the accident.
If you fail to see your doctor as soon as possible, the broken tooth might attach incorrectly to the jawbone, thus resulting in crooked teeth.
Non-Surgical Ways to Treat Crooked Teeth
There are a lot of ways an orthodontist can help you with crooked teeth. Make sure that you go to an accredited professional to ensure quality medical care. Here are some of the recommendations an orthodontist can give you.
Retainers can be used for people with a minor tooth gap or one crooked tooth. This is also the usual follow-up treatment for people who have just finished treatment with braces. It’s also very affordable compared to other options.
This is just a minor cosmetic solution and not truly a corrective one. A porcelain veneer is used to cover the tooth. The tooth is first shaved down, and a veneer is placed on top of it. Veneers look like your natural teeth, so people won’t be able to tell the difference.
Porcelain veneers are great for adults. Otherwise, during younger years, they might affect how the teeth grow.
Braces are the go-to treatment for fixing major concerns with crooked teeth. Not only will it correct crooked teeth, but it will also help with jaw alignment. There are a lot of options to choose from:
Metal braces are the cheapest and one of the most effective ways to move the teeth. However, Invisalign braces are a popular option as they are essentially invisible and very inconspicuous compared to traditional braces.
How to Prevent Crooked Teeth
Prevent your kids from thumbsucking
Kids suck their thumbs for several reasons. Some of them do this to soothe themselves, or just out of sheer boredom. Look for ways to keep them busy or for other things that might give them comfort.
Visit your dentist/orthodontist regularly
They will do a routine check-up on your teeth and see what they can do to help you with your concerns.
Crooked Teeth FAQ
How can I straighten my teeth instantly?
The fastest way you can straighten your teeth is by using veneers. Although it doesn’t correct your crooked teeth, it sure offers you a quick solution. Just wear it, and voila, you have a new set of straight teeth. However, it requires shaving down your natural teeth and is way too extreme of a solution.
Can I fix my crooked teeth by myself?
Unless you are a licensed dentist or orthodontist, then you can’t fix crooked teeth by yourself. Dentists and orthodontists will give you the best and safest option for fixing crooked teeth.
How long do I have to wait for my teeth to straighten?
Teeth straightening using traditional braces or Invisalign will take six months to 2 years. A highly skilled orthodontist will be able to give you a good estimate based on his assessment and experience.
Can I file my own teeth?
Filing your teeth will be painful. You may also accidentally expose the dentine, which causes more feelings of sensitivity on the teeth. In short, this is a terrible idea, and will only damage the surface of your teeth.
Will braces fix my teeth permanently?
Braces will fix teeth permanently, provided you follow your treatment program as instructed. Wearing a dental retainer is very important to make sure your teeth don’t relapse to their original positions.
What is the best age to get braces?
You can get braces at any age, but most orthodontists will prescribe them at around 11-14 years old. This is a good time since the child’s mouth, and teeth are still growing and can be easily adjusted.
Is it okay to get braces even if I’m 50 years old?
Regardless of your age, having good dental health should be a priority. Braces at 50 will not only help straighten your teeth but also help in overall dental health.
Why are braces expensive?
The price of the braces will depend on the materials and equipment used to ensure that your braces are properly placed in your teeth. Also, the orthodontist placing the braces needs to be highly trained. The teeth should be moved slowly, and the braces have to fit perfectly.
Will it be possible to get free braces?
If you have health insurance, you can always check with your insurance provider if they cover free braces. Some states also offer free braces for both adults and children.