What causes crooked teeth? And how to correct them?

What causes crooked teeth And how to correct them

What causes crooked teeth? And how to correct them?

  • Published Date: 27 May 2020
  • Updated Date: 04 Jan 2023
  • Reading Time: 6 min

For many people, being born with perfectly straight teeth feels like they won the genetic lottery. They don’t need to worry about getting braces fitted, nor have to cope with all the awkwardness of traditional braces. Currently, 4 million people across Canada and the US are undergoing dental treatment to realign teeth and promote excellent dental health.
But to understand why so many people need braces, we must understand what causes crooked teeth and how to correct them. There is not one single or simple answer, but we’ll aim to give you all the information you need about crooked teeth, realignment, and clear braces.

What Causes Crooked Teeth?

There is no single reason that causes crooked teeth. It can happen for a variety of reasons. Because of this, it can be difficult to determine whether you might experience crooked teeth during your life.


Sometimes, crooked teeth are inherited from the parents and passed down from them to you. People born with overbites, underbites, or crossbites, where the teeth are out of position, are at risk of experiencing crooked teeth.

You may even have a small mouth, which doesn’t allow the teeth and jaw to grow correctly, and this is another reason genetics can cause crooked teeth.

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders focus on unusual patterns of the face or mouth, which could cause crooked teeth. Examples of OMDs include:

Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing is a bad habit people will develop and continue to do as they age. On the surface, it may not seem like it can do too much damage, especially when you try to relate it to crooked teeth. However, the unnatural placement of the jaw will affect teeth development as it doesn’t encourage the surrounding muscles to strengthen.

Tongue Thrusting

Since newborns cannot control their tongues like toddlers, children, and adults do, tongue thrusting develops naturally in infancy. Nevertheless, continuing such patterns may have an impact on bone and muscle growth, which might result in crooked teeth.

Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking can have a calming and soothing effect on many children, especially as an alternative to a pacifier, but having a thumb-sucking habit for too long after leaving infancy will affect the alignment of your teeth and cause them to grow unnaturally.

Asthma or Allergies

It may not seem like asthma, allergies, and similar respiratory problems can cause crooked teeth, and usually, the lungs are most associated with such issues. However, as these conditions can hinder how easy it is to breathe normally, it could lead to unnatural and irregular breathing habits, including open-mouth breathing. From here, you risk succumbing to jaw misalignment and improper facial development, which are both factors that can lead to crooked teeth.

Injuries or Accidents

Falls, crashes, fights, or any other type of facial trauma can severely affect the development of your jaw and teeth, resulting in crooked and misaligned teeth. It is especially prevalent when losing a tooth following an accident, as the surrounding teeth will begin to shift into space as a way of healing. However, while this should be beneficial, it can cause crooked teeth, so it’s vital to see an orthodontist as soon as possible after losing a tooth or teeth.

Unhealthy Baby Teeth

You and your parents need to ensure you care for your baby teeth long enough so that your adult teeth can form and push the baby teeth out. If your baby’s teeth fall out too early, there’s a risk that the permanent teeth will be crooked, as they are not fully developed yet. Experiencing trauma or tooth decay caused by improper care are two reasons you might lose your baby teeth before you are ready.

Why should you try to fix crooked teeth?

Crooked teeth straightening is about so much more than merely looking good, although, for many people, this is usually the driver that pushes them into seeking straightening solutions. If left unchecked, crooked teeth can come with a vast range of risks that can affect your physical and mental health.


Teeth that grow and develop straight and naturally will not cause you many, if any, problems. However, crooked teeth will bring discomfort, and it will feel like you can never find an ideal position for your jaw to rest. This can be distracting, which could affect conversations, listening, or doing anything at all.

Periodontal Disease

Crooked teeth can be more difficult to clean than straight teeth. The misaligned teeth mean there are challenging spots to get into a toothbrush and even dental floss. Failure to adequately clean your teeth could lead to periodontal disease, including gum disease and tooth decay. Such problems can lead to more severe issues, such as infections and damage to the jaw and mouth bones, and teeth.

Eating and Digestion

Chewing and eating problems are other side effects of crooked teeth. Because your teeth are not aligned correctly, you can struggle to break down the food properly, resulting in digestion problems, choking, and getting food bits stuck in parts of your teeth that are hard to access. Improper digestion could cause discomfort, and as the digestive enzymes and fluids are not activated compared to when you swallow correctly chewed food, there will be an imbalance.

Wear and Tear

Excess wear and tear from crooked teeth is another major issue you should be aware of, but it is not always what people consider when deciding to fix misaligned teeth. Teeth will, naturally, wear down over the years the more you eat and chew, and you will also find this if you have a teeth-grinding habit.

However, the problem can be compounded with crooked teeth. As the teeth are not straight and therefore ‘in place,’ you might find that they are always rubbing against other teeth and your gums. This can be problematic. It increases the risk of jaw strain and puts extra pressure on the muscles and gums. There is the chance of jaw disorders, cracked teeth, and headaches caused by wear and tear caused by crooked teeth.

Speech Issues

Misaligned teeth can make it challenging to articulate and develop sounds properly, which means you may experience issues with speaking. Aside from this affecting confidence, it can also make it difficult to make requests, ask questions, and get clarification at work, school, or your personal life. It could also cause misunderstandings with people who need to become more familiar with your speech pattern.


Self-esteem is perhaps the most common and obvious reason that causes people to seek solutions for fixing crooked teeth. These self-esteem issues can impact you at any age, and they could cause you to avoid social interaction, avoid situations where you feel your crooked teeth might be exposed, and hold you back from engaging with people. Even if these fears are entirely unfounded, they can still be debilitating and adversely affect your mental well-being. By finding the best solution to align your teeth, you will have more confidence and be more willing to put yourself out there in situations you would have previously shied away from.

Fixing crooked teeth will surely boost your happiness, not just because you will feel confident with every smile. The lack of potential health and medical issues from fixing crooked teeth will allow you to realize life more fully and give you a chance to focus more on what makes you happy.

How to Fix Crooked Teeth

While crooked teeth are not pleasant, and many believe they are doomed to suffer from crooked teeth for the rest of their lives, the good news is that misaligned teeth are fixable.

This is true regardless of why your teeth are crooked. There are solutions available to get your teeth straight and perfect. Options include

  • Metal Braces
  • Invisible Or Clear Aligners
  • Even Surgery.

Typically, these options will depend on the severity of your crooked teeth. For children or teens, which is the most common age for crooked teeth treatment, braces and aligners are the most popular solution. However, if you are an adult unable to get dental treatment when you were younger, you can still get braces, although surgery may be necessary if your jaw is severely misaligned.

When you visit the dentist, they will determine which treatment is right for you by carrying out an x-ray to examine the severity of your misalignment.

Clear Braces vs. Traditional Braces

Traditional braces use tracks and wires to keep teeth in place and help them develop properly rather than being crooked. There is no doubt that they work, but are they the best solution for people with crooked teeth? At the time, they were perhaps the only way to fix crooked teeth without surgery. However, as oral health practices have evolved so much throughout the years, clear braces are a popular and discreet alternative to traditional brace fittings.

Traditional Metal Braces

Braces consist of a wire that runs across the center of your teeth and is held in place by metal brackets on each tooth.. Although they are effective, especially in severe cases. Braces require tightening every four to six weeks. They typically cost upwards of $5,000.

In-Office Aligners

In-office aligners provide dental care at a greater cost. Many popular brands, for example, require you to see an orthodontist or dentist throughout treatment. Due to several hidden costs and office visits, these aligners can cost up to $8,000.


ALIGNERCO does not require seeing a dental professional during treatment and allows you to begin the orthodontic treatment procedure from the comfort of your home. You will not need to visit a dentist or orthodontist for a consultation or routine check-ups because your treatment is monitored remotely. These aligners are also less expensive than in-office alternatives, usually costing less than $1250.

Talk to an Expert

If you are concerned about crooked teeth’ effects on your oral and mental health, then now is the time to seek guidance and advice from qualified dental health professionals. The ALIGNERCO team has a range of treatment options available and provides clear braces that will help you achieve the smile you have always wanted without holding the stigma of traditional braces. Take our Free Assessment Survey today to get started and find out what ALIGNERCO can do for you.

Comments ( 12 )

  • Alan

    Wow who would have known mouth breathing could affect teeth! I am a mouth breather and I wonder if this has had an effect on me.

  • Kline

    Wow I didn’t know there were causes other than genetics for crooked teeth!

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