Crooked teeth are more technically known as malocclusions, and they’re extremely common. Close to 90% of school-aged children suffer from at least minor malocclusion, while only 35% of U.S. adults have well-aligned teeth. While most people only have a minor issue, major malocclusions can disrupt the bite pattern so much it’s hard to chew without damage or discomfort. Find out what can be done about crooked teeth and how to tell if they’re even a problem. Who Suffers from Crooked Teeth? Very few people have perfectly straight teeth. Adults may have at least one crooked tooth, even if their teeth grew in straight for decades. Crooked teeth are particularly common among children and teens because their teeth have not always settled into their final positions yet. Waiting to see if the crooked teeth of childhood straighten up as you grow can be a hit or miss proposition, which is why many people choose to treat the problem early on instead. However, it’s often perfectly possible to adjust malocclusions in adults just as successfully as in children and teens. Don’t assume your age will keep you from getting a straighter smile. Do You Need to Straighten Crooked Teeth? Mildly crooked teeth are usually just a cosmetic issue. Unless you feel self-conscious about the way they look, you can likely leave them in place without a problem. However, you really need a dentist to evaluate the number of crooked teeth and the amount of effect on your bite pattern. Having multiple crooked teeth that are only minorly skewed may still add up to create a more serious cumulative effect that needs treatment. If you have a more severe malocclusion, you may have issues with chewing, biting, or even speaking. Your teeth can have issues fitting together tightly when you chew, either putting too little pressure on food or overlapping too much and grinding together. This can lead to chipping and fracturing of teeth that don’t meet neatly on the correct surfaces. Adjusting just one or two teeth could help you reduce a speech impediment or end an annoying chewing problem. What Can Crooked Teeth Lead to? Leaving your teeth crooked could have a lot of long-term effects that are often overlooked. There’s nothing wrong with a little tilt or twist for most teeth, but more pronounced overcrowding can be a serious issue. Failing to fix more advanced malocclusions can lead to long-term problems like: Tooth decay and gum disease. Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean, especially if they are overcrowded or overlap. This creates far more opportunities for trapped food, leading to decay even after your best attempts to brush and floss. Digestion problems. If your teeth can’t fit together well enough due to being crooked or tilted, your food may end up swallowed only partially chewed. This can lead to an upset stomach, bloating, and gas. Wear and sudden trauma to the teeth. Conflicts between a crooked and straight tooth, or two crooked teeth, can leave them both chipped or cracked. Even teeth that manage to get along despite their off-center placement will slowly grind and wear away at each other. Your teeth are designed to only make contact in certain ways, and your dentist can identify where they’re meeting unexpectedly and experiencing extra wear. Speech difficulties. While most speech impediments are not caused by crooked teeth or other dental issues, they can be worsened by them. It’s particularly hard to overcome slurring and vowel dropping habits when the teeth click or drag together painfully during certain sounds. The skilled team at Bunker Hill Dentistry can work with any speech therapists you might be seeing to help identify any dental issues complicating your speech. Poor self-esteem. Don’t underestimate the potential effect on your self-esteem from your crooked teeth. This reason is more than enough to seek out dental treatment. Jaw pain, headaches, and sleep apnea. These are potential side effects when the jaw is the cause of misalignment. Treatment Options for Crooked Teeth Traditional Braces For children and teens, the most reliable option is traditional braces. These treatments can treat anything from mild to severe cases of crooked teeth. They can be used on adults, but they’re less popular due to their visibility. Both metal and ceramic styles are available with their own benefits. All You Need to Know About Getting Braces Invisalign For adjustments nearly as complete as traditional braces with a clear appearance that’s easy to hide, consider Invisalign. This option is popular for teens and adults, but it can only work on moderate to mild cases. Why Invisalign Is Such a Popular Solution to Crooked Teeth Retainers Mild cases of crooked teeth, especially in the front of the mouth, are often treated with just a series of overnight retainer use. A retainer is necessary to back up the use of braces, but it can be used on its own in some cases as well. This treatment is used for both kids and adults, but only for relatively small issues. Veneers If the teeth fit well together but just have visual issues, installing veneers can solve the problem all at once. Veneers don’t change the alignment of your teeth, yet they can create the appearance of a straight and even arrangement. They’re also ideal for dealing with teeth that aren’t actually crooked but rather have been chipped or were misshapen from the start. Veneers Are a Long-Lasting Solution to Several Dental Problems Bonding For more advanced reshaping of misshapen or misaligned teeth, bonding could also be a suitable and quick option. Bonding is similar to veneers in that it is used to fill in chips and reshape surfaces, by applying a composite resin material directly on the teeth, without actually changing the alignment of your teeth. Bonding Is an Affordable and Fast Option to Straighten Crooked Teeth Teeth Straightening Surgery For the most advanced cases of both youth and adult malocclusions, teeth straightening surgery is the final and most severe option. However, it’s the most expensive option with the longest recovery time as well. It can deal with the most severe crooked teeth and accomplish the majority of the adjustments all at once. Why Bunker Hill Dentistry? Dr. Le and his wife and office manager Ann Le Specialists – As a dentist experienced in both cosmetic and general dental procedures, Dr. Le can treat crooked teeth no matter the cause or motivation for change. Serene setting – Our office is designed to provide a calm, relaxing environment to help put your mind at ease during treatment. Take a tour. Client satisfaction – We have one mission – total client satisfaction. “Care, Comfort, Convenience” is our guarantee to every client. More about Bunker Hill Dentistry. Reception room at Bunker Hill Dentistry State of the art – We utilize the most advanced technology such as the i-CAT 3D x-ray machine, All-On-4® implants and an anesthesia-delivery wand, for faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment. Conveniently located – Located in Memorial, just a short drive from Houston’s city center. Find us on the map. Cost of Fixing Crooked Teeth There is no one answer to the question of the cost of dental treatment. There are many factors that influence the cost, starting with the severity of the issue with the teeth. The type of treatment option that best fits your specific bite pattern will also affect the final cost as well. Some treatments have just one upfront cost, while others are spread out over time to help make them more affordable to you. Make an Appointment and Straighten Your Teeth Don’t wait to see what happens with your teeth or the teeth of your children. Deal with crooked teeth today by making an appointment here at Bunker Hill Dentistry. We’ll evaluate your smile and give you a full range of recommendations so you can find just the right treatment. Schedule An Appointment Today Not been to Bunker Hill Dentistry before? To help you prepare for your first visit, read our new patient information page.