What Causes Crooked Teeth in Children?

crooked teeth

Overall, crooked, misaligned teeth are very common in children and adults.

Baby and permanent teeth can come in crooked for a variety of reasons:

  • Baby teeth can be too small, or too large to fill the gum space allocated to them.
  • Childhood behaviours such as thumb sucking, pacifier or bottle use, mouth breathing, or prolonged tongue thrusting can contribute to crooked teeth.
  • Genetics issues like overbites, underbites, crowded or crooked teeth can be inherited.
  • Poor dental hygiene resulting in cavities and gum disease can cause crooked teeth if left untreated.

Lastly, poor nutrition can lead to tooth decay and poor teeth development, which are potential precursors to crooked teeth.  Tindale Dental Kids Corner has lots of good tips about healthy eating for a stellar smile.

Help Your Child Have a Healthy Smile

Preventing crooked, misaligned teeth can be beyond our control, however, there are a few things that parents can do to help their children have healthy teeth.

Regular Dental Check-Ups

Even before your child cuts their teeth, you could use a baby toothbrush (one with rubber bristles, not regular bristles) on their gums. This helps get them used to the brushing sensation while developing a good dental hygiene routine.

Book regular dental check-ups for young children. Initially, at early visits, children will sit in the dental chair, look at the instruments, or one of our kid-friendly dentists will count their teeth. Overall, the goal of early dental visits is to establish a positive relationship between our Tindale dentist and your child. As your child’s teeth grow in, regular dental appointments will include a cleaning, teeth counting, and an opportunity to assess and discuss any potential dental issues.

Tindale Dental suggests a dental check-up and cleaning every six months for most children.

Correct Childhood Behaviours

Thumb sucking, pacifier or bottle use, tongue thrusting and even tongue sucking are behaviours that might result in crooked permanent teeth if not ceased by age 6 or 7.
Working with your dentist you can identify and develop a plan to correct bad habits that might cause adult teeth do not come in straight. For instance, taking away the use of a pacifier, or in another case, stopping thumb sucking before it causes dental issues.

It is important to note that there are usually no ill-effects from thumb sucking or pacifier use in early childhood. Typically, most children naturally give up the habit somewhere between 2-4 years of age.

However, if thumb sucking or pacifier use continues past the age of 6 or 7 (when adult teeth are coming through) dental issues can occur. Therefore, it is important to speak to your dentist about correcting bad behaviours while your children are still young.

Brush and Floss Teeth Regularly

In general, proper oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) are very important in keeping your child’s smile healthy and free of decay.

Brushing should start as soon as your child has teeth. For infants, brushing may take less than 30 seconds depending on how many teeth are in the mouth. Subsequently, for children with a full set of teeth, brush for at least 2 minutes twice a day, in the morning and the evening before bedtime. Using a tooth brushing chart can be an effective encouragement for young children as well as popping a song on.

Straightening Your Child’s Teeth

All things considered; crooked teeth do not need straightening. However, if you are unhappy or embarrassed with the way the teeth look, or if they are causing health or speech issues, you can have them fixed.

Let Tindale Dental Help You Care for Your Teeth

Our Penrith Dentists at Tindale Dental are experienced and passionate about children’s dental care. Book an appointment today on (02) 4726 5400 to book an appointment to make sure your child’s teeth have the best possible chance to grow healthy and straight.

We are open six days a week and have some evening appointments available.