Orthodontic problems are very common and there is greater awareness of tooth irregularities than ever before as people have a greater interest in the appearance of their smile. Inspired by celebrities, millions of people are choosing to have orthodontic treatment to straighten out their teeth and create a more attractive smile.
Common tooth irregularities
Most people have tooth irregularities of some kind. It is very rare to have a perfect set of straight, healthy teeth and this is why orthodontic treatment has become so popular. The most common types of tooth irregularities include crooked teeth, twisted teeth, protruding front teeth (also known as buck teeth or overjet), crowding, gaps between the teeth and problems relating to the bite (this is the way the top and bottom sets of teeth fit together when the jaw is closed).
In many cases, genetics may play a role in determining the positioning and appearance of the teeth. If you or your partner have buck teeth it is likely that you may have a child with larger than average front teeth. However, this is not always the case and there are many other reasons why people may have tooth irregularities. One major cause of crooked and protruding teeth is thumb-sucking; sucking the thumb for a prolonged period of time pushes the front teeth forward, causing them to stick out further than the bottom teeth. Sucking your thumb can also affect the development and positioning of the neighbouring teeth and this may cause problems such as crowding and malocclusion.
Similar to thumb-sucking, research has also shown that using a bottle for a long period of time can also cause problems for the development of children’s teeth. Instead, experts recommend using a cup when the child is old enough to hold and control the cup properly.
Trauma and injuries can also cause tooth irregularities; the most common causes of dental injuries include accidents (such as road traffic accidents), trips and falls and sports injuries. It is impossible to prevent accidents but wearing a seat belt in the car and keeping passageways and stairways clear at home will help to reduce the risk of trauma. It is also advisable to cover sharp corners in the home and install stair gates if you have young children.
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