Crooked teeth can lead to a variety of oral health problems. It can be difficult to properly clean teeth if they are crowded or misaligned, allowing plaque and tartar to decay and infect your teeth and gums. Teeth misalignment can occur for various reasons, with many cases linked to genetics. However, bad oral habits can also cause orthodontic issues. Dr. Wayne Sankey, an orthodontist in Flower Mound, TX, lists three oral habits that can lead to crooked teeth.
Childhood thumb sucking
Sucking thumbs or fingers is a common habit for many infants. If this behavior continues as the child grows older, the constancy of this act over a long period of time can affect the shape of the child’s mouth and the way their teeth grow. An object in the mouth that keeps the jaw open can eventually lead to an open bite. This is when teeth do not touch when biting down. Thumb sucking can also pull the top of the mouth and cause an overbite. This means that the top teeth protrude over the bottom set of teeth. Both orthodontic issues can be fixed with Invisalign or traditional braces.
Chewing lips or nails
Biting lips or nails is a habit that can develop in childhood and continue through adulthood. Chewing lips usually involves the top teeth biting down on the lower lip. The motion of biting lips is similar to thumb sucking and can cause similar problems, such as an overbite. Biting nails involves chewing a hard object which can damage teeth. The pressure of biting can shift teeth so that they are crooked and can also cause alignment problems. Teeth can still be at risk of misalignment even if the patient has already reached adulthood.
Poor dental hygiene
Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing daily keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. Strong teeth indicate a stable foundation so that your teeth are at a lower risk of shifting. If plaque is not removed, teeth can decay and potentially fall out of the socket. Missing teeth allow space for the remaining teeth to move out of alignment. Gum disease can develop if gums are not kept healthy. This infection can lead to gums receding, leaving teeth vulnerable to shifting out of place. Proper oral hygiene habits can prevent this from happening.
Schedule an orthodontist appointment in Flower Mound, TX
Flower Mound Orthodontics offers a variety of orthodontic appliances and treatments for patients of all ages. You can request a consultation from an orthodontist in Flower Mound, TX on our website. Our office can also be reached by phone at 972.833.8212.