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Why Your Child’s Baby Teeth Appear Crooked

By January 30, 2023February 13th, 2023No Comments

Nothing brings more joy than your child’s smile. Most babies develop their first tooth around age 1, and by the time they are 3, they will have all 24 of their baby teeth.

While you may know your child’s smile is beautiful, it’s also possible that you’ve noticed some crookedness. Many parents are concerned about their baby’s crooked teeth and wonder if they need to treat them.

Working with an orthodontist in Berkeley can help you address any worries you may have over your child’s teeth. If need be, we can also develop a treatment plan to correct any crookedness and avoid any complications with future teeth development.

Below are the four most common reasons children have crooked baby teeth and how we can help correct them.

1. Genetics

The most common cause of crooked teeth in children is simply genetics. Misalignment can occur if the child’s teeth are naturally larger than their jaw. As a result, they can come in out of place and leave the mouth crowded. Braces are the most commonly recommended option for children in this situation.

2. Thumb Sucking

Children who suck on their thumb, fingers, or use a pacifier after developing their first tooth can experience misalignment. Sucking motions can place pressure on the upper incisors, which extends the front teeth and narrows the upper palettes. The resulting alignment can include a crossbite or open bite.

3. Tongue Thrusting

When a child places their tongue too forward or to the sides of their mouth, it can misalign their developing teeth. Tongue thrusting is a normal behavior in babies, and their swallowing patterns naturally improve as they get older.

However, some children continue to place their tongues too far forward, creating an open bite. Children who tongue thrust can also exhibit mouth breathing, messy eating, and have trouble pronouncing certain letters (particularly “s” and “z”).

One of the options for treating tongue thrusting is to prescribe an orthodontic device called a “tongue crib.” It sits at the roof of your child’s mouth and trains them to keep their tongue in the correct position. 

4. Sudden Loss of Teeth

Early childhood teeth loss can result in others rapidly growing in to fill the empty space. This can lead to crookedness as more teeth emerge in the future. You can speak with an orthodontist about a space maintainer, to ensure your children’s teeth grow into the correct location.

Our Orthodontist Can Help Your Child’s Smile Flourish

As they grow, children’s oral health needs are ever-changing. If you are looking for a compassionate orthodontist who delivers personalized care, Dr. Song is here. 

Please contact our office – serving the Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, Oakland, and San Pablo areas for many years – to schedule an appointment.