Child Crooked Teeth: What to Do When Baby Teeth Are Crooked

There's nothing more precious than a smiling child. That's why parents should do everything they can to ensure their child's teeth are healthy. And at some point, you may notice that their baby teeth are coming in crooked. But before you panic and visit your pediatric dentist, you need to know that a child's crooked teeth during the early stages of eruption are normal under most circumstances.

However, it's important to monitor your child's baby teeth because crookedness can be a sign of some serious dental problems. The good news is that parents can prevent their child's baby teeth from coming in crooked. Plus, it's important to remember that baby teeth are just placeholders for permanent teeth.

Types of Crookedness

kids crooked teeth

  • V-shaped bottom teeth

As the baby teeth begin to appear, they can grow in at a V-shape, especially the bottom teeth. This is not something to really worry about as it should correct itself as development continues.

  • Overcrowding

Your child's teeth may not have enough space to grow straight. It's not a concern with baby teeth but could be a sign of crowding in permanent teeth as they begin to erupt.

  • Angle/Slant

If you notice your child's crooked teeth coming in at an angle or slant, your child is really no different than other children because this is normal.

Why your child's baby teeth are coming in crooked?

child's baby teeth

Again, crooked teeth in babies are generally normal, but there are several reasons why teeth can come in crooked beyond normal development.

  • Teeth are too Small

Baby teeth usually have small gaps between them, but teeth that are too small to fill the space have more room to move into more crooked positions.

  • Genetics

Your child may have inherited genetic traits resulting in smaller teeth or a misaligned jaw that could be causing crookedness.

  • Thumb and pacifier sucking

Sucking on the thumb or a pacifier over a long period of time puts constant pressure on the gums, which can cause baby teeth to grow outwards.

  • Tongue thrusting

Your child's tongue could be pressing against their teeth, which will move them over time. This can particularly result in an overbite.

  • Malnutrition

Poor nutrition can result in weaker teeth that are easier to shift, resulting in a child's crooked teeth position.

  • Poor oral hygiene

Failure to practice proper daily oral hygiene can result in the development of gum disease that can cause teeth to loosen and shift.

Will crooked baby teeth straighten out?

Crooked baby teeth are generally normal and will likely straighten out on their own. Your child's teeth and jaw are still developing, and teeth need time to move into the correct position. Be patient, but if you have concerns feel free to talk to your pediatric dentist. Regular visits to your dentist can not only quell your fears but can also detect real problems early.

Will crooked baby teeth result in crooked permanent teeth?

Your child should have a set of 20 baby teeth by the time they reach the age of 3. It's perfectly understandable to have concerns about those baby teeth being crooked even though it is not unusual. Naturally, you may worry about crooked baby teeth having an effect on the development of your child's permanent teeth.

How and when your child's adult teeth will come in is unpredictable, although there is a general timetable for which baby teeth should fall out. However, it is possible for baby teeth to have an impact on permanent teeth.

For instance, early baby tooth loss can result in crooked adult teeth because other teeth shift into the open space, therefore crowding the area a permanent tooth is supposed to come in.  In this case, teeth space maintainers may be a suitable solution.  These devices help maintain sufficient space for permanent tooth to grow in after a baby tooth is lost prematurely.

A stubborn baby tooth that doesn't fall out may cause a permanent tooth to come in at an angle.

However, crooked teeth in babies should not interfere with the eruption of permanent teeth, though parents really should not expect those adult teeth to be perfectly straight either. Your child's permanent teeth will erupt and grow in time. And if there are crookedness issues to deal with, there are several options available such as braces or Invisalign® to fix them.

How can I prevent child crooked teeth as my baby grows?

child crooked teeth

If genetics is the reason behind your child's crooked teeth, there isn't very much you can do about it beyond keeping a close eye on development. However, there are ways to prevent other causes of crooked teeth.

  • Restrict the amount of time your baby engages in thumb-sucking or sucking on a pacifier. Avoid pacifiers after your baby is over 12 months old. Thumb sucking is a habit that should be broken prior to the emergence of permanent teeth. The earlier, the better.
  • Begin an oral health care routine for your child as soon as the first tooth erupts by gently cleaning it and the surrounding gums with a soft toothbrush.
  • Schedule regular dentist appointments so the dentist can routinely check on the development of your child's teeth and detect any problems early.
  • Restrict the amount of sugar in your child's diet and make sure they get the nutrients they need. Sweet drinks and candy can cause cavities and tooth decay that weaken teeth. This can result in loose or shifting teeth.

Contact Kid's Choice Dental

prevent child crooked teeth

Seeking advice and care from a qualified pediatric dental professional gives parents the help they need to make sure their child has and maintains a healthy smile for a lifetime.

Kid's Choice Dental specializes in pediatric dentistry. We serve locations in King County and Pierce County in Washington. Our staff is dedicated to caring for children's smiles, including dealing with child crooked teeth. We have experience caring for special needs children as well.

If you are looking for a dentist for your child, please call us at 253-848-7000 or visit our website to schedule an appointment today! It's never too early to start caring for your child's smile.

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