Straightening Out Crooked Teeth for Better Smile

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Having a perfect smile with straight, well-aligned teeth not only boosts self-confidence, but it also makes it easier to keep teeth clean and healthy. However, many children and adults alike deal with crooked teeth or malocclusion to some degree. Read on as your Smile Clinic London experts discuss the common signs, causes, and both cosmetic and medical treatments available for realigning crooked teeth.

Top Symptoms of Crooked Teeth

Crooked teeth can manifest in various ways. Being attentive to the following symptoms can help you determine if you or your child has a malocclusion requiring treatment:

  • Teeth overlapping each other in a crowded appearance
  • Excessive gaps or spaces between certain teeth
  • The upper and lower jaws appear misaligned when biting down
  • One or more teeth sticking out beyond the others
  • Difficulty closing the lips together without straining
  • Biting the cheeks, gums or palate due to misalignment
  • Speech impediments affecting pronunciation

Tooth grinding, chipping or uneven wear from poor bite alignment

Seeing your dentist promptly when these issues arise gets you on the path to correction before worsening.

What Causes Crooked Teeth?

Several different factors can cause crooked teeth or a “bad bite”, whether present from early childhood or developing later in life.

Genetic Factors

Like other features, genetics play a key role in the spacing and alignment of teeth. Jaw size and structure, tooth size, and gum thickness all contribute to crowded or gapped teeth in some families.

Oral Habits

Prolonged thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, nail biting, pen chewing and using a pacifier beyond age 3-4 can all shape misaligned teeth. Even mouth breathing instead of nasal breathing impacts positioning over time.

Developmental Conditions

Birth defects like cleft lip and palate or syndromes like Down’s that affect facial structure also commonly cause crooked teeth. Some developmental or genetic conditions like ectodermal dysplasia result in missing teeth that allows remaining teeth to shift.

Early Childhood Tooth Loss

When children lose baby teeth too early due to decay or accidents, surrounding teeth may tilt or shift into the empty space. Missing permanent teeth also enables movement in nearby teeth.

Trauma Injuries

Injuries to the jaw or face from sports impacts, falls, vehicle accidents, etc. may fracture facial bones or loosen teeth, leading to misalignment later on as a child continues growing.

Prolonged Dummy Sucking

Extended dummy sucking and tongue thrusting beyond age 4 often causes top front teeth to protrude and bottom front teeth to go behind. Stopping these habits early prevents lasting changes.


Benign or cancerous tumors of the mouth, jaw or face can impact the proper development of facial bones and dental positioning. Luckily these are very rare causes in children.

Treatment Options for Crooked Teeth

Treating misaligned teeth improves aesthetics, eating and speech while preventing a variety of oral health issues. Options range from removable devices to fixed braces for both kids and adults. Your Smile Clinic dentist will determine the best match for your age, symptoms, and preferences.

Removable Clear Aligners

Popular clear aligner systems like Invisalign involve wearing a series of transparent, customized trays to incrementally straighten teeth. Less noticeable than braces, aligners are also removable for meals and cleaning.

Traditional Metal Braces

Stainless steel remains a reliable material for realigning crooked teeth. Traditional metal braces utilize brackets glued to the teeth surfaces connected by wires and rubber bands to guide teeth into position over time. Success often depends on patient compliance with care instructions.

Ceramic Braces

Those concerned about aesthetics may appreciate high-tech ceramic braces which blend the tooth color for far less visibility. Though not totally invisible, ceramic braces straighten teeth with more discretion.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are metal or ceramic brackets and wires custom-fitted to the tongue-facing side of your teeth, making them nearly impossible to notice. Although challenging for cleaning and speech initially, lingual braces straighten teeth discreetly.

Clear Retainers

After braces, prescribed retainers are vital for keeping teeth in their new corrected alignment. Clear custom fit retainers easily allow for continued teeth brushing and minor adjustments. Remember to wear as directed!

Beyond improving appearance and self-esteem, correcting crooked teeth enhances long term dental health and proper chewing. The investment of time and resources pays lifelong dividends. Contact Smile Clinic London to discuss the best straightening options to reveal your healthiest, most radiant smile possible.

Additional Connections to Overall Health

Beyond the mouth, teeth and jaws, correcting crooked teeth can have positive impacts on overall health. Malocclusion may contribute to the development of problems like:

Headaches and migraines – Misaligned jaws commonly trigger tension headaches due to stress on connective tissues and joints. Straightening teeth helps relax the muscles, reducing headache frequency and intensity.

Sleep apnea – When crooked teeth are due to small jaws, it can obstruct breathing by reducing airway space. This results in chronic tiredness, heart disease risks, concentration and mood issues.

Speech issues – Certain speech sounds rely on the tongue, teeth and palate properly interacting. Straightening teeth helps improve pronunciation and enunciation.

Limits certain sports – Protective mouthguards essential for sports like football, hockey, basketball, etc often don’t fit well due to misaligned or sticking out teeth. This avoids kids’ participation due to safety risks and discomfort.

Cheek biting – The inability to comfortably close one’s lips leads to accidental biting of the cheeks. Realigning teeth allows for freer lip closure without injury risks.

Lower self-confidence – Those with crooked teeth often feel self-conscious. Braces significantly boost perceived attractiveness, confidence in one’s smile and positive self-image.

With an eye towards whole body wellness, correcting crooked teeth offers advantages beyond just an improved appearance – it enhances function, health and quality of life through adulthood.

As seasoned specialists in realigning and straightening teeth for both proper bites and dazzling smiles, Smile Clinic London provides personalized treatment planning based on your unique symptoms and goals. Investing in braces or clear aligners pays dividends for a lifetime of confidence and good oral health. Contact us to get started to crooked teeth smile  and get the smile you deserve.