Your child’s life is full of milestones that you as a parent carefully monitor (and celebrate!) at every turn. Included in those occasions? When those baby and permanent teeth start coming in. But what if your child’s teeth are coming in crooked? Should you be worried? And what should you do about it?
At Innovative Pediatric Dentistry, we want to help you understand your child’s oral development at every step of the way — so you can feel confident you’re making the best decisions for their teeth. So in this post, let’s talk about both baby and adult teeth coming in crooked, find out if they’re a problem, and what you can do about it.
Baby Teeth Coming in Crooked — Are They A Problem?
The good news? In most cases, if your child’s baby’s teeth are coming in crooked, you don’t have to worry too much about it. As you know, kids grow and change really quickly, so when it comes to their oral development, their mouth and jaw changes a lot, especially in their early years between 3-6 years old.
Will crooked baby teeth straighten out? Slightly crooked baby teeth can straighten out over time, and the permanent teeth that take their places might just erupt perfectly okay, even if the baby teeth were slightly crooked or crowded.
When Crooked Baby Teeth Might Be A Cause For Concern
We should mention, though, that extremely crooked baby teeth might be problematic. If you notice that your child’s baby teeth look severely overcrowded, misaligned, or out of place, these might contribute to problems like speech issues, trouble chewing properly, or difficulty with cleaning that leads to a higher risk of tooth decay. Missing baby teeth or too many baby teeth may also be cause for concern.
Of course, your Innovative Pediatric Dentistry team will keep a close watch on your child’s oral development when you visit every six months. If there’s anything to worry about over your kids crooked baby teeth, rest assured we’ll spot it sooner than later and provide recommendations for treatment.
What Causes Crooked Baby Teeth?
Baby teeth come in crooked for a number of reasons; the most common include:
Genetics: If you or your partner have crooked teeth, there’s a higher chance your child may also have misaligned teeth.
Prolonged Baby Habits Like Thumbsucking: Thumb sucking, pacifier use, or other oral habits that carry on too long can impact the alignment of baby teeth. These habits can put pressure on the developing jaw and contribute to your child’s baby teeth coming in crooked — like front teeth that stick out or an underbite. If you notice that your preschool child is still relying on these habits to self soothe, visit your Naperville pediatric dentists at Innovative Pediatric Dentistry. We’ll gently examine your child’s baby teeth and provide habit breaking strategies for helping your little one stop thumbsucking or using their pacifier.
Lack of Space: Sometimes baby teeth come in crooked because of lack of space in your child’s mouth. This can be a result of factors like crowded teeth or a smaller jaw size. In these cases, we again suggest you come in to see your board-certified Naperville pediatric dentist. We can assess your child’s teeth and provide the right guidance, whether that’s a “wait and see” approach, or recommendations for early orthodontic treatment with our expert orthodontists at Innovative Orthodontic Centers.
How About Adult Teeth Coming in Crooked?
Around age six or seven, you’ll notice your child’s baby teeth starting to fall out and their adult teeth coming in. But what if those permanent teeth are coming in crooked? Unlike baby teeth, adult teeth are here to stay, so if they’re crooked, they typically don’t straighten themselves. As a result, your child may experience issues with pronunciation, chewing and biting, or maintaining good oral health. Adult teeth coming in crooked can also affect your child’s self esteem, both when they’re young and when they’re older. Crooked adult teeth may also be a sign that your child’s jaw is too small, which can contribute to mouth breathing or teeth grinding.
Fortunately, orthodontic treatment helps straighten adult teeth and align your child’s bite, setting them up for success when it comes to great oral functioning, dental health, and overall well-being. And for our young patients at Innovative Pediatric Dentistry, coordinating orthodontic care comes easy since our expert, board-certified orthodontists at Innovative Orthodontic Centers are under the same roof.
Checking Up on Crooked Teeth With Your Chicagoland-Area Pediatric Dentist
As mentioned, kids’ crooked teeth can either be nothing to worry about or a cause of concern, depending on if they’re baby teeth, adult teeth, and the severity of your child’s case. When in doubt, come visit us at Innovative Pediatric Dentistry for a comprehensive exam by a compassionate team. And our bright, fun, kid-friendly environment and high tech approach helps kids feel comfortable at every visit.