Crooked Teeth — Is It More Than Just Genetics?

February 9, 2023

Did you inherit your teeth from your family? Do you often wonder whether your parents are to blame for your misaligned teeth or whether there’s a bad habit you have that caused your crooked teeth? Perhaps you’re building a family and wondering how you can give your children healthy, straight teeth. As it turns out, genetics isn’t the only thing that can contribute to crooked teeth.

What Causes Crooked Teeth?

Crooked teeth don’t happen by chance. Genetics does play a role in how your teeth look. Crowding, jaw size, jaw shape, overbites, underbites, having too many teeth and poor tooth development can be passed down in the family.

Bad habits and other environmental factors can also influence the appearance and alignment of your teeth. Some causes include:

  • Poor oral hygiene. When you don’t practice proper oral care, you can develop gingivitis (the early stages of gum disease). Left untreated, it can turn into periodontitis which can cause your teeth to loosen, shift or even fall out.
  • Early baby tooth loss. If you lose your baby teeth too early as a child, your teeth can shift into the empty space, crowding the area where a permanent tooth would eventually erupt. This could mean pulling them out without consulting your dentist rather than letting them fall out naturally.
  • Thumb sucking. If you had a continuous habit of sucking your thumb or pacifier as a child, it could have led to teeth misalignment. 
  • Tongue thrusting. When you habitually press against your teeth with your tongue, it can result in crooked teeth over time.
  • Malnutrition. Eating a well-balanced diet is essential for the development of the body's muscles, bones and tissue. If your body doesn’t get enough nutrients, it can result in crooked teeth as well as other potential health issues. 

Treating Crooked Teeth

Whether your crooked teeth are caused by genetics or other external factors, various cosmetic dentistry procedures can help straighten teeth and improve oral health:

  • Braces. This option is a popular choice for straightening teeth because they’re extremely effective. But, due to their aesthetics and the complications that occur while practicing good oral care, many prefer to opt for Invisalign or other clear aligners if possible. 
  • Invisalign. Invisalign is a discrete and removable alternative compared to metal brackets. They’re custom-made to fit comfortably around your teeth, with new aligners made frequently to continue adjusting them to the proper position.
  • Retainer. If your teeth are only slightly crooked, you can get your teeth adjusted by using a retainer. Retainers are typically used to maintain teeth alignment after wearing braces, but they could still work when fixing very minor overcrowding. 

Start your journey to a healthier smile today by booking an appointment with Kildonan Crossing Dental Centre. We offer several orthodontic services to help boost your confidence and make it easier to look after your teeth. You can find us in Transcona, at the corner of Lagimodiere Boulevard and Regent Avenue.