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Understanding the Common Causes of Crooked Teeth

crooked teeth

When someone thinks of orthodontic treatment, the first thing that often comes to mind is straightening crooked teeth. While genetics and age play a significant role in the alignment of our teeth, other factors can contribute to crooked teeth. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the common causes of crooked teeth and the importance of addressing them with the help of an orthodontist.


It’s no secret that genetics play a significant role in many aspects of our health, including the alignment of our teeth. If your parents or grandparents have crooked teeth, there’s a higher chance that you may have them as well. This is because the size and shape of our jaw, as well as the placement of our teeth, are inherited traits. Genetics also determines how our teeth and jaw grow and develop during childhood, which can also impact the alignment of our teeth.

Poor Dental Habits

Another common cause of crooked teeth is poor dental hygiene habits. When we don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque and bacteria build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. This can cause our teeth to shift and become crooked over time. Additionally, frequent thumb sucking or pacifier use beyond infancy can also put pressure on the front teeth, pushing them out of alignment.

Early Tooth Loss

Losing a tooth prematurely due to an injury or decay can also contribute to crooked teeth. Our teeth work together to maintain proper positioning. When one is missing, the surrounding teeth may shift or tilt to fill in the space. This can cause overcrowding and misalignment, which will require orthodontic treatment to correct.

Mouth Breathing

Breathing through the mouth rather than the nose can also impact the alignment of our teeth. This is because when we breathe through our mouths, our tongue naturally sits lower in our mouth, putting pressure on our front teeth. Over time, this can cause them to shift and become crooked. Mouth breathing can also lead to a narrow upper jaw, which can cause crowding and misalignment of the teeth.

Tongue Thrusting

Tongue thrusting is a habit where the tongue pushes against the back of the front teeth while swallowing. This action can put excessive force on the front teeth, causing them to move and become crooked. It is often the result of an unbalanced bite or an oral injury and can worsen with time if not addressed.

Poor Nutrition and Diet

Our diet plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of our teeth. A lack of essential nutrients and vitamins, such as calcium and vitamin D, can significantly impact our dental health. These nutrients are essential for strong and healthy bones, including our jawbone — the foundation for our teeth. Poor nutrition and diet can weaken the jawbone, making it more susceptible to shifting and causing crooked teeth.

Crooked teeth can occur due to various factors, from genetic predisposition to lifestyle habits. While some causes of crooked teeth may be out of our control, it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene habits and address any underlying issues with the help of an orthodontist. With early intervention and proper treatment, we can achieve a beautiful, healthy, and aligned smile. Visit Ogden Orthodontics to learn more about our orthodontic treatment options.

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About the Author: Robert T. Ogden, D.D.S.

Dr. Robert T. Ogden D.D.S. is an independent orthodontist serving Central Florida since 1994, and is proud to be the affordable option for local families who want straight teeth that lead to perfect smiles, all backed by a kind and friendly staff that instantly makes you feel at home. We take the time to explain all of your options, from In-Ovation C clear braces or SPEED System metal braces to clear aligners like Invisalign™. Plus, our state-of-the-art offices are designed to make your visit as fast and comfortable as possible. Schedule your free consultation today!

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