Crooked teeth can deter from the appearance of your smile, but they can also lead to dental health concerns. Often your bite can become misaligned for reasons outside a patient’s control, such as genetics.
However, sometimes behaviors contribute to teeth shifting out of place and needing orthodontic treatment to straighten. Dr. Scott McElroy, an orthodontist in San Ramon, CA, describes three poor oral habits that can lead to you requiring orthodontics later in life.
Pediatric Thumb Sucking
Continuous behaviors occurring in childhood can impact the structure of your teeth in adulthood. Thumb sucking is one of these habits that can harm the bite of your teeth over time.
The constant presence of the thumb in the child’s mouth can lead the child to develop an open bite, which is when the top and bottom front teeth do not connect when an individual bites down. Thumb sucking also pulls at the top arch of teeth and can cause the child to form an over bite, in which the top row of teeth protrude over the bottom row. Both of these malocclusions can affect a child’s oral development but can be amended with orthodontic treatment.
Nail or Lip Biting
Similar to thumb sucking, repeated lip and nail biting can negatively impact your bite. Chewing your lip can create an over bite over time. Biting your nails creates pressure that can cause teeth to shift out of place. This habit also contributes to poor oral hygiene by transferring germs from under your nails to your mouth, raising your risk for oral infections like gum disease.
Poor Oral Hygiene
We brush our teeth twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque build-up that occurs naturally in our mouths throughout our day. Skipping your oral hygiene regimen allows plaque to deteriorate your tooth enamel and infect your gums, causing dental damage.
These dental concerns can make your teeth unhealthy to the point of falling out if left untreated. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, and missing teeth cause teeth placement and jaw alignment to shift, necessitating teeth straightening treatment with orthodontics.
Orthodontics and More in San Ramon, CA
Dr. McElroy treats overbites, crooked teeth, and many other bite problems with orthodontics in San Ramon, CA. Our practice provides braces, Invisalign, and oral appliances for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 925.386.2208.