Growing up with crooked teeth was something a lot of us had to experience but, does your child have to as well? Not only does having crooked teeth affect your self esteem, but it can lead to further dental health issues, like cavities and gum disease, as well as difficulties when speaking.Those of us who grew up suffering with crooked teeth obviously don’t want our children to have to go through the same thing. We’ve put together a short list of 5 ways you can help your children develop healthy, strong, and straight teeth.
Put an end to thumb sucking
Avoiding any unusual pressure on growing gums is one of the best ways to avoid crooked teeth. Sucking thumbs or dummies (pacifiers), tongue thrusting, bottle feeding longer than normal, and other infant oral issues can all cause teeth and jaws to grow out of shape.
Weaning your child off sucking on objects early on should reduce their risk of having crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. It allows their jaw to grow into its natural shape without any force. If your child has started to have crowding to due to bad habits you may still have time for a phase 1 appliance.
Start healthy hygiene routine
Poor dental hygiene is thought to be a possible cause of crooked teeth. When gum disease is present in young children, the decay and bacteria can penetrate down to the gums and affect the dormant adult teeth as well. Healthy gums and teeth are more likely to develop correctly with good hygiene.
This is a part of why it’s so important to help your child set up healthy dental hygiene habits early. Brushing gently on the gums when teeth are just starting to come through is a great way to get your child used to the sensation. It has a positive impact on a huge range of dental health concerns that they might come across in their lifetime. This is why we always ensure that you visit your dentist periodically specially if your wearing an orthodontic appliance.
Avoid the tooth fairy
Losing a tooth early on, lets be clear too early, can cause the surrounding teeth to start to grow into the space, setting your child’s mouth up for issues when the adult teeth come through. Whether the tooth has been lost due to an accident or due to decay, the damage can result in other teeth growing incorrectly.
If your child loses a tooth early, make sure to book an appointment with your dentist. They’ll be able to keep an eye on the surrounding teeth for signs of collateral damage or a disposition to lean into the gap. If necessary, we can always close up any spaces they may have.
It’s in the family
Sometimes, the possibility of developing crooked teeth is just down to genetics. If you had crooked teeth or a misaligned bite growing up, it’s possible that your children will too, despite all your efforts to give them good healthy dental habits.
However, it’s still important to focus on all those healthy habits, because they can certainly help to prevent some of the dental problems that crooked teeth might cause.
Catch it early
Catching the signs of crooked teeth developing can mean that your orthodontist is able to correct your child’s teeth as they grow. Before the age of 10, you may not even need to use braces or Invisalign to correct the bite.
Look out for early signs, like difficulty speaking, swallowing or an abnormal facial appearance. We may be able to actively intervene as the adult teeth come through the gums and prevent more extensive treatment later down the line.
Crooked teeth might be caused by poor dental health, overuse of dummies and bottles, or just be due to genetics, but there are still ways to minimize the long-term impact it may have. Looking out for your child’s dental health in their early years and organizing an appointment with your orthodontist for any concerns is likely to save you going through more expensive treatment down the road.