Crowding teeth is typically a childhood problem, but it can easily turn into an adult problem, if the issue is not properly addressed by a professional. Taking your child to the orthodontist throughout their childhood years can help ensure that crowding teeth are identified and corrected.
If these issues are not properly addressed, permanent teeth may grow in on top of one another. Children with crowded teeth often grow up to have expensive and unpleasant dental challenges, and may also be self-conscious about their smile. There are many things that orthodontists can do to address this problem. Here's what you need to know.
Teeth Crowding Occurs When Your Mouth "Runs Out of Real Estate"
Teeth crowding occurs when the teeth press together but are not aligned, because there is not enough room for all the teeth that need to grow in. Some teeth may sit higher or lower, while others get pushed behind or ahead. The overlapping of the teeth is the most obvious sign that there's a problem. Other symptoms of teeth crowding include:
- Alteration of the features of the face
- Speech problems
- Frequent accidental biting of the inside of the mouth
- Discomfort when chewing
Overall, teeth crowding that goes untreated can impact your child's quality of life in small but significant ways.
What Causes Teeth to Become Crowded?
Teeth crowding can happen for many reasons, so it's important to get help from an orthodontist with the background and expertise to help you identify the cause. One reason that teeth crowding occurs is because the teeth might be growing in faster than the jaws and gums.
Another reason is constant breathing through the mouth. Since the tongue provides support to the jaw, breathing with an open mouth all the time can cause the jaw to narrow, and teeth to become crowded.
The Answer for Crowding Teeth
Braces and aligners are the answer to crowding teeth. There are many types of orthodontic appliances, made from varying materials. While some braces are very strong and effective against severe orthodontic problems, others can be made virtually invisible and can be worn discreetly. Your child's orthodontist can help you choose the right type of braces for your child's needs.
Metalis a tried and true material for braces. It's also the strongest material braces can be made from. At one time, metal braces were the most common. Today, metal is just one of the many options available to patients hoping to straighten their teeth. Metal braces are used to correct severe crowding, so if your child has a serious orthodontic issue, metal braces may be the appliance of choice. These braces tend to be more affordable, as well, so if you're on a budget, this is what your orthodontist may recommend.
The downsides? Metal is more obvious, and children with metal braces often feel self conscious. Still, metal braces produce lovely results - especially when installed and maintained by an experienced orthodontic professional.
Ceramic braces behave a lot like metal braces, but they're less obvious. They can be tooth colored or clear, depending on your preferences. There are some downsides to ceramic braces, however.
For one, they can be stained over time. They can also take longer to straighten teeth, because of the way the various parts work together in the mouth. If you're focused on getting the braces on and off as quickly as possible, and if you're focused on the lowest cost possible, the orthodontist may recommend metal braces. Talk to your child's orthodontist to find out more.
Clear aligners are quickly becoming the most popular option for straightening crowded teeth. Why? They're almost invisible! Clear aligners are also removable, and are generally worn about 22 hours per day. They come in a series, with each set of aligners changing the position of the teeth in the mouth just a tiny bit at a time.
Clear aligners are the solution of choice for kids who want to maintain a clear smile while they're correcting their teeth.
Crowded Teeth Treatment Process
If you or your child has crowded teeth, the orthodontist will start your treatment plan by gathering information. The process starts with X-rays, photos and a comprehensive examination. The problem is gauged not just by cause but also severity. Some problems may be so mild that they don't warrant treatment. Other problems may be so severe that they warrant removal of some teeth, or use of wires and plates to stabilize the jaw bone. Most often, the solution is braces or aligners as described above.
After a diagnosis has been made, the orthodontist will work on a custom treatment plan. Problems that lead to crowding teeth may vary, so every problem requires its own solution. The orthodontist will work with you to establish a timeline and course of treatment that will help you or your child reach your orthodontic goals.
Get Treatment for Your Crowding Teeth
Crowded teeth are more than just a blemish on your perfect smile. Misalignment caused by teeth crowding can lead to tooth decay and halitosis, which can affect your health and personal relationships. Ultimately, getting proper treatment for crowding teeth can improve quality of life. If you or your child is experiencing crowding teeth in the Raleigh area, contact an expert who can help. Call Dr. Laster, an experienced Raleigh orthodontist, to schedule a free consultation.
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.