Many people think orthodontic treatment is only needed for “crooked” teeth. But what about crowded teeth? Crowded teeth occur when teeth are running out of space and start pressing together in a disjointed way, reducing the amount of space between them. Crowded teeth are a common problem in both adults and children. Treating crowded teeth while young is ideal, as it leads to less dental intervention later in life. If left untreated, teeth crowding can lead to severely crooked teeth as teeth shift to move in front of and behind one another. But that’s not the only reason to fix crowded teeth; crowding can cause other serious problems as well.
Why Fix Teeth Crowding?
Teeth crowding is not only a cosmetic problem. Crowded teeth, if left untreated, can result in many serious short-term and long-term dental health issues. Here are just a few reasons to consider treating crowded teeth before they lead to more serious problems:
- Fixing teeth alignment sooner rather than later will significantly lower the chances of needing major treatment later on.
- Aligning your teeth and supporting bones into the correct positions will increase the durability and strength of your teeth for years to come.
- Correcting crowded teeth will aid in the alignment of your jaws, making chewing more effective and reducing the likelihood of headaches and poor digestion. Tooth occlusion and jaw alignment will be more coordinated.
- Repairing crowded teeth will make dental hygiene much easier and more effective, lessening the occurrence of tooth and gum decay and cavities.
- Teeth crowding, if left untreated, can lead to an increased chance of gum disease. Crowded teeth can also cause premature wear and tooth loss from teeth rubbing against one another, and long term jaw joint damage.
- Last but not least, properly aligned teeth will give you more confidence to show off your smile!
Crowded Teeth Treatment
So, what can be done to fix teeth crowding? Treatments range from minor intervention with a removable appliance, to possibly needing months or years of treatment, or in extreme cases, removal of one or more teeth. The best treatment needed to fix your teeth crowding problem depends on how severe your crowding is and your age when starting treatment. Possible courses of treatment include:
- Braces: Braces are always an effective way to move teeth into proper alignment. Sometimes this may be combined with removing one or more teeth in order to make room for your other teeth to align. This will correct your crowding issue and give you a straight, confident smile!
- Invisalign: A popular choice when it is an option, Invisalign brace systems adjust your crowded or crooked teeth to get you the smile you want, while making it less obvious that you’re wearing them. Many times, no one will be able to tell that you’re wearing braces at all. This is a great choice for adults who would prefer to avoid traditional metal braces.
- Retainers: This is another popular treatment for teeth crowding. Retainers are custom-made devices, made from molds specifically to fit your mouth and its needs. They are made from wires or clear plastic, designed to hold your teeth and jaws in place to realign teeth. Retainers may be adjusted regularly by you or your orthodontic provider to adjust with your changing smile and continue the straightening process.