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What’s Wrong With Crooked Teeth?

More than 30 percent of people smile over 20 times a day, and children are taking it up a notch by smiling as much as 400 times daily.

The smile is also the first thing that people notice when meeting someone new.

Smiling individuals are deemed to be more likable and courteous. People ranked smile as the second most attractive feature next to personality. They also appear to be more competent.

Smiling goes beyond language and considered a universal sign of happiness and means of communication. In a research in Papua New Guinea and of the Fore Tribe, American psychologist Paul Ekman found that smiles are cross-cultural and have the same meaning in different societies.

TED speaker and writer Ron Gutman also recognized the “untapped powers” of smiling in improving lives. Gutman said the “superpower” of smiling help people and those around them live longer, healthier, and happier lives.

Smiling activate the release of the small molecules used by the neurons to communicate with each other called neuropeptides which influence the brain and body activities. The activation of these molecules reduces stress.

Aside from neuropeptides, smile releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. The release of these neurotransmitters relaxes the body and lowers blood pressure. Endorphins are also natural pain relievers, while serotonin lifts mood and serves as an anti-depressant.

Endorphins are also natural pain relievers, while serotonin lifts mood and serves as an anti-depressant.

However, not all people flash their smiles. In its 2015 Oral Health and Well-being report, the American Dental Association (ADA) revealed that one in four adults evades smiling because of the condition of their mouth and teeth.

Having crooked teeth is one of the dental concerns that hinder people from showing off their smiles.

Crooked teeth are considered a type of malocclusion or the misalignment of the teeth.

An individual can have crooked teeth for several reasons which include:

  • A small mouth for the teeth, leading to a crowding and causing a shift in the teeth
  • Malformed upper and lower jaw that can result in an overbite (excessive protrusion of the upper jaw) or an underbite (lower jaw and teeth extends beyond the upper teeth due to the excessive protrusion of the lower jaw)
  • Inherited Trait
  • Early loss of baby or adult teeth
  • Improper fit of dental restorations
  • Gum disease
  • Undue pressure to on the teeth and gums
  • Injury to the jaw leading to misalignment
  • Mouth or jaw tumors
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Tongue thrusting
  • Pacifier use beyond three years old
  • Prolonged use of a baby bottle

Crooked teeth can cause self-consciousness and affect an individual’s self-esteem. Aside from its aesthetic consequence, the dental problem can interfere with chewing.

It can also make basic oral care like brushing and flossing difficult and increase the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis. Crooked teeth stress the teeth, jaws, and muscles that can lead to the breaking of a tooth.

Although noticeable, determining the need for treatment still lies on a dental professional who may look for signs such as abnormal alignment of the teeth, abnormal appearance of the face, discomfort or difficulty in chewing or biting, and speech problems.

A referral to an orthodontist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of malocclusion can also be made for the proper action on the dental problem.

The orthodontist will take X-rays of the patient’s teeth and photographs of his or her face to determine if and what treatment is necessary. Impressions will also be made by biting down on a soft material, creating an exact copy of the patient’s teeth.

Orthodontic treatment can involve a fixed or removable appliance. Fixed orthodontic devices are dental braces, fixed space maintainers, and special fixed appliances. Removable devices include removable retainers, aligners, jaw repositioning appliances, palatal expander, lip and cheek bumpers, headgear, and removable space maintainers.

A tooth or some teeth may be extracted to provide adequate room for teeth movement during the orthodontic treatment.

Practicing good oral hygiene all the time remains a necessity to keep the mouth healthy for a more beautiful and healthier smile.

Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.

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