You already know that braces straighten crooked teeth. But what you may not realise is that orthodontic treatment achieves more than beautiful smiles for most patients. This page briefly explains how and why proper treatment by an orthodontic specialist results in a lifetime of benefits.

Crooked Teeth

A question frequently asked by parents is – what causes crooked teeth?

Primary teeth are necessary for chewing, speech, appearance and to act as natural space maintainers for permanent teeth. A combination of heredity and environmental factors can result in dental malposition and abnormalities which have an adverse affect on the primary functions of milk teeth.

Inherited dental deficiencies, malformations and abnormalities that result in crooked, or non-functional teeth, cannot be prevented, but can be treated. These factors include: lip muscles that are too strong or too weak; teeth or jaws that are too small or too large; and an incorrect relation between the upper and lower jaws.

Environmental factors in and around the mouth have a strong influence on the positioning of teeth, and can influence the delicately balanced position that the teeth occupy between the tongue, lip and cheek muscles. Even light forces, applied over a period of time, can disturb this equilibrium and result in malpositioned teeth and associated abnormalities.
Key environmental factors that contribute to this include: bad habits such as thumb sucking, nail biting, and tongue thrusting; nasal obstructions which result in mouth breathing; and premature loss of milk teeth, and when lost prematurely the remaining teeth tend to drift into the space, thus observing the erupting permanent teeth.

Your dentist will be able to advise you on the treatment of these influencing factors should they occur in your child.

Camps Bay Dental Studio