As your adult teeth come in and you continue to grow through the teenage years, your teeth stay on the move. In fact, even well into your adult years, your teeth gradually adjust their positions in your mouth, especially when set upon by outside forces. Like all dental matters, the overall position of your teeth largely depends on genetics, but habits can make a big impact as well. Wondering just what habits matter most? Here’s a look at just what may have resulted in your crooked teeth – and what you can do about it.
You Simply Cannot Escape Genetics
First things first, you simply cannot escape genetics. If bite issues, crooked teeth, and other dental problems run in your family, there’s a good chance they’re going to run into you. If that’s the case, there’s not much you can do about that, although it’s still worthwhile to avoid bad habits and stay on top of your oral care. However, one thing you can do is partner with an orthodontist and get started on straightening out your teeth.
Habits Can Make Matters Worse Though
When genetics aren’t the cause of crooked teeth, bad habits are likely the culprit. Although the following habits might seem harmless, the slow and constant pressure they cause pushes teeth out of position over time.
It’s not your fault, of course, as most of these habits occur unconsciously and are difficult to stop as a result. To help you understand how it all went down, here’s a look at the most common habits that cause crooked teeth.
Most people start sucking their thumb for comfort in their infant days. Then, the habit continues through adolescence since it’s impossible to take away the thumb like you would a binkie.
Unfortunately, through the years, the pressure of having the thumb in the mouth actually reshapes the roof of the mouth. As that happens, the front teeth at the top and bottom rows start to slant forward and get pushed out of place.
Although mouth breathing doesn’t seem like a big deal, this simple action slowly pushes your jaw out of position. As this happens, it puts tons of excess stress on your jaw muscles throughout each day.
As a result, you might find yourself clenching your teeth during the day and grinding them all night long. TMJ pain usually occurs due to all that pressure. Complete misalignment of your teeth can also occur.
Even if you don’t breathe through your mouth most of the time, you can still start grinding your teeth at night. Most often, this habit occurs due to stress in your life, including school exams, social strife, and just generally navigating the teenage years.
As you grind your teeth, the action not only wears down the enamel but also moves teeth out of their natural positions. Halting the damage in its track is easy, thankfully, and only takes the nightly use of a custom mouthguard.
If you’re feeling rather stressed or even just feel bored more often than not, you may resort to nail-biting to keep busy. While gnawing your nails down to the nubs might feel soothing in the moment, it’s not a great habit.
For one, your fingernails are about twice as dirty as your fingers, giving germs a one-way ticket straight into your mouth. And for two, the constant nibbling wears down tooth enamel and puts extra stress on your teeth, moving them out of place in a hurry.
Sleeping on Your Stomach
Do you like to flop over onto your stomach at night and get your Zzz’s with your face squished against the pillow? If that’s your standard sleeping position, you could be putting your teeth into harm’s way.
Stomach sleeping puts a steady amount of pressure on the teeth, especially if you tend to put the same side of your face on the pillow every time. As that happens, your teeth slowly shift out of place, resulting in general crowding and inward overlapping teeth.
Although you likely know that wildly crunching on Corn Nuts can easily result in a cracked tooth, you likely never considered the impact of a poor diet on your smile. Without the right balance of vitamins and minerals in your daily diet, your teeth can weaken, increasing their risk of tooth decay.
Then, the unthinkable can happen as the decay results in tooth loss, leaving open spaces that allow your remaining teeth to start moving out of place. Damage to your overall bite occurs next and causes your teeth to move further out of their proper alignment.
Want Help with Your Crooked Teeth? Come to Laster Orthodontics
If you’d like to get perfect teeth, all you have to do is contact Dr. Laster to see if braces are best for you. Even if traditional braces don’t suit your needs, you have other options to consider as well, including clear aligners. So, feel free to call 919-676-0541 to find a good time to visit our orthodontic clinic and figure out how to kiss your crooked teeth goodbye. If you prefer to skip the call, you can fill out the online form to schedule a visit with the best orthodontist in the Triangle.
At Laster Orthodontics, we help families develop healthy, life-changing smiles using customized treatments, cutting-edge technologies, and caring relationships. Our individualized treatment plans help our patients achieve their perfect smile in the quickest, most painless way possible by utilizing a wide range of options from traditional braces to propel accelerated treatment to Dr. Laster's in-house aligner program, Laster Perfect Smile. With three locations throughout the Triangle Area, we create life-changing smiles every day.