What Causes Crooked Teeth?

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Crooked teeth affect millions of people all over the world and affects teenagers and adults alike. But why do teeth become crooked and is there anything you can do to prevent worsening?

Causes of crooked teeth

There are many reasons why your teeth may become crooked throughout the different stages of life. Here are some of the most common causes:


Genetics have a huge impact on your chances of inheriting misaligned teeth or jaws, and if your parents have crooked teeth there’s a strong possibility that you might too. A small jaw can also increase your risk of having crowded teeth, simply due to a lack of space.

Missing teeth

The early loss of both adult and baby teeth can affect the position of your remaining teeth since they attempt to drift into available gaps. Sometimes baby teeth can be replaced by larger adult teeth that overlap and crowd together due to limited space.

Thumb sucking

Habits such as thumb sucking put pressure on your teeth (much like braces) – forcing them to move into a different position. Typically thumb sucking will result in an open bite (pictured) and you’ll have a gap where your upper and lower teeth don’t bite together. For children under 16 ask about phase 1 treatment.

Gum disease

Any problems with your gums such as injury or disease can eventually impact on your teeth. Gum disease can cause teeth to become loose and change their alignment as well as your bite.


Time can also take its toll on the position of your teeth. As we age our teeth can have an unfortunate tendency to drift forward and become more crowded. While contrary to popular belief your wisdom teeth are not to blame the real cause is your jaw bone, which looses density over the years and changes shape.

Not wearing your retainer

Among orthodontic patients, the biggest cause of reoccurring crowding (or orthodontic relapse) is undoubtedly missing or not using retainers. For as long as you want your teeth to stay straight after wearing braces, you will need to follow your orthodontists instructions and to wear your retainer.

Solutions to crooked teeth

Thankfully, whatever the cause of your crooked teeth, there is a solution. Braces are a very effective way to straighten wayward teeth. And, if you wear your retainers regularly, your teeth should stay straight for many, many years.

You’ll also be pleased to hear that braces now come crystal clear forms called Invisalign. They are also removable!

To find out more, browse our website, or, if you’re ready to take the next step call to setup a complimentary consultation.

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