Growing up with crooked teeth was something a lot of us had to experience, and often, it wasn’t nice.
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 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 to 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 should reduce their risk of having crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. It allows their jaw to grow into its natural shape without force.
Start healthy hygiene habits
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 the gum and affect the dormant adult teeth as well. Healthy gums and teeth are more likely to develop correctly.
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.
Avoid the tooth fairy
Losing a tooth early on 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. We’ll be able to keep an eye on the surrounding teeth for signs of collateral damage or a disposition to lean into the gap.
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 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 can cause.
Catch it early
Catching the signs of crooked teeth developing can mean that your dentist is able to correct your child’s teeth as they grow. Before the age of 10, you may not even need to use braces to correct the bite. It’s only after 12 years of age that braces are generally the best option.
Look out for early signs, like difficulty speaking or swallowing, or an abnormal facial appearance. Your dentist or orthodontist may be able to actively intervene as the adult teeth come through the gums and prevent more extensive treatment later on.
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 minimise the long-term impact. Looking out for your child’s dental health in their early years and organising an appointment with your dentist for any concerns is likely to save you having to go through more expensive treatment down the track.
Tindale Dental has dentists experienced in looking after the dental health of children. Book an appointment today to make sure your child’s teeth have the best possible chance to grow healthy, straight and strong.