All parents are a little crazy. We bring a child into the world, and we want them to have a wonderful life. Health is a major part of a happy existence, so most parents are primarily focused on ensuring their baby is getting everything they need to stay healthy.
Any deviation from a “standard” that we read or heard about causes anxiety and even panic. My child’s baby teeth coming in crooked! What should I do?
First, don’t panic. We understand it’s not that easy, especially with the first baby. But panic is not a productive emotion. Let’s go through all the aspects of the issue and create an effective strategy on how to deal with it.
Is it a cause for panic?
Your perfect baby has got crooked baby teeth coming in… Can it be a sign of a major problem? Of course, you are getting anxious and feel the pressure to take action. It’s natural. Although, in this particular case, you most likely don’t need to worry.
To start, those are baby teeth. Your child is not going to live with them for all their life. They will get their adult teeth in several years.
But even then, it won’t be the final verdict, because modern pediatric dentistry can offer effective solutions for the child’s teeth issues.
Did you know that our teeth start growing even before our birth? By the time we leave our mother’s womb and say hello to the new world, we have 10 upper and lower teeth (20 in total and no wisdom teeth for the infants) hidden in the gums. When the first tooth comes in, a child is around 6 months old (the age varies, of course).
They eventually end up with 20 baby teeth, which are very often not ideal. Crooked teeth are a common occurrence.
Although it’s usually not the reason for great concern, visiting a pediatric dentist is a sensible idea. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s recommendation, you should bring your baby for a primary visit to the pediatric dentist after the child’s teeth start to come in or around their first anniversary.
You understand that the first years are a period of fast development, the baby’s teeth included. The face grows and with it, the mouth and the jaw. Misaligned teeth can easily align by the age of 6. Don’t view the position of primary teeth as the permanent one.
But a regular visit to the dentist is still sensible because a specialist will watch a development process with vigilance and alert you about any potential deviations.
Crooked baby teeth: why do they occur?
There are various reasons for the child’s baby teeth coming in crooked. Some of them are beyond our control, whereas others can be dealt with.
#1. Heredity. This factor causing a baby’s teeth to come in crooked is not in our power to influence. To illustrate the genetic factor, let us give you an example.
If your partner has large teeth and your jaw is slight, there is a possibility that the primary teeth of your child will have narrower than usual spaces between them because they will take their jaw from you, and the size of the teeth — from your partner. The wide spaces will result in crooked baby’s teeth.
#2. ‘Bad’ habits. Certain recurrent actions your child takes up can lead to the child’s primary teeth being crooked. Such habits are called myofunctional. One of the ‘bad’ habits is when your child sucks their thumb.
Seemingly harmless, thumb sucking increases the stress on the bottom teeth and the upper teeth. For a child’s tooth development, it can have a significant impact resulting in crowded teeth or an open bite. So thumb sucking is worth discouraging.
Another habit is a pacifier. We have nothing against this useful tool, but there is a time for everything. And there is time to stop giving a pacifier to your child. Prolonged pacifier use can cause primary teeth issues like pushing forward the upper front teeth. When that happens, the child’s bite deviates from normal (open bite).
You need to stay vigilant and watch closely the developing teeth of your child. At this point, negative impacts can be often reversed.
#3. The untimely loss of baby’s teeth. This can happen for various reasons. A child can lose a tooth in an accident. Another possibility is tooth decay or gum disease. Free space is gradually occupied by the other teeth causing the crooked child’s teeth effect.
Unfortunately, it can also cause consequences for permanent teeth, as there will be an obstruction for the child’s adult teeth when they are ready to come in. And crooked permanent teeth, although also curable, still present a larger problem than crooked primary teeth.
#4. Excessive teeth. This is not a common phenomenon, but it occurs from time to time and causes crowded and crooked teeth.
Crooked teeth: what can we expect?
Teeth can be crooked in different ways, and below you’ll find the most common types of ‘crookedness’ that baby teeth can have.
Crowded teeth. A proper gap between the teeth doesn’t exist, and sometimes there is even an impression that the teeth are ‘trying’ to invade each other’s space. When permanent teeth are coming in, they can face a problem in such a situation. So it’s time to consult a pediatric dentist who will find the best solution.
Crooked bottom teeth. Sometimes baby teeth come in resembling a V shape.
It mostly happens with bottom teeth and is usually a temporary occurrence.
Angled teeth. It happens both with primary and adult teeth. Normally, the teeth will gradually straighten properly without any external assistance, but following the process with a pediatric dentist is a reasonable solution, too.
Developing healthy habits: the shortest way to healthy teeth
Prevention is key. A healthy care routine for your child will secure proper tooth development.
It’s up to the parents to encourage their child to adhere to good oral hygiene.
Here are several basic rules that will give you excellent results in the form of your child’s brilliant smile.
- Rule #1. Start teaching your baby the toothbrushing routine with the appearance of the first tooth. Use a very soft brush and very little paste at the beginning adding to it gradually. When the child has more teeth and they are close to one another, it’s time to floss, too.
- Rule #2. Healthy eating habits are a must. You need to train their palate. Healthy food is delicious, and they can see it if given a chance. Sweets and sugary drinks are not friends of healthy teeth.
- Rule #3. Make water your children’s drink of choice. Teach them to drink it throughout the day to sate their thirst. Sweets and sugary beverages are better limited as much as possible.
- Rule #4. Going to see the dentist should become a routine. Preventing an issue or catching it at an early stage is always preferable.
If your child’s teeth are coming in crooked, it’s not a reason to panic. However, staying vigilant is reasonable, as tooth development is an important process that parents should follow closely.
Watch out for any potential problems and start regular visits to the pediatric dentist as soon as the first teeth come in. Although baby teeth are a temporary thing, they can influence permanent teeth and thus should be taken seriously.
Why are my child’s front teeth coming in at an angle?
It’s normal. As teeth develop, they will straighten on their own.
Can teething cause crooked teeth?
No, that does not happen. Other reasons make teeth crooked, like family genetics or the baby’s habits, like thumb sucking. Extra teeth, though rarely occurring, can also cause crooked teeth.
How can I make my baby’s teeth straight?
Sometimes, crooked teeth are caused by certain habits like using a pacifier for too long or when a child sucks their thumb. Quitting these actions may contribute to straightening the child’s teeth. But the genetic factor is not in our power to change, and it can be the reason for the crooked teeth, too.
Mo is a home-based Mommie and a passionate journalist. She loves to help other moms to spend a good life.