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What To Do If A Child’s Tooth Is Growing In Crooked



The approach for crooked teeth is different for baby teeth than it is for permanent teeth.

Child’s Crooked Teeth

If a child’s baby teeth come in crooked, this is not necessarily a sign that their permanent teeth will as well. The jaw changes so immensely in the early years of life that the permanent teeth will come in under entirely different conditions. It is best to speak to the dentist as we can sometimes help to encourage growth in the proper direction and decrease orthodontic treatment needed in the future.

Permanent teeth are a different story as they come in as the jawbones begin to fuse. Crooked permanent adult teeth might require orthodontic treatment. Here’s how to handle it:

  1. Don’t Panic
  2. Most teeth come in a little crooked; this is a normal side effect of pushing out the baby teeth. In many cases, it will straighten out on its own.

    Note we said many cases, not all cases.

  3. Talk to a Dentist and Orthodontist
  4. Sometimes, crooked teeth are a sign of problems to come. Seriously crooked ones don’t always get better. Out-of-position ones might interfere with chewing and may grind down other teeth before they straighten out. It’s hard to know which crooked teeth are going to be an extensive problem and which aren’t unless you’re a dentist.

    Talk to your dentist to see if your child needs an orthodontics consultation. Tackling the problem head-on, instead of waiting for it to get better, will often save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

  5. Consider the Long Term
  6. If a dentist or orthodontist does recommend a course of treatment, consider it strongly. Crooked teeth are likely part of a larger problem with the shape of the jaw and the alignment between rows of teeth, both of which are much easier to fix in childhood than adulthood. Treatment with retainers now can prevent surgery later.

  7. Correct Any Behavioral Problems
  8. The crooked teeth could be caused not only by jaw shape, but by personal behaviors like thumb-sucking and tongue thrusting. If you suspect these behaviors are ongoing, bring them up with your child and the dentist to find ways to correct them.

In addition, tooth decay could be the culprit. If a baby tooth starts decaying before it is pushed out, this can affect the alignment of the permanent teeth that replace it. If tooth decay has previously been an issue, cut back drastically on sweets and focus on better brushing.

For more information on how to handle your child’s crooked teeth, talk to our team of family dentistry professionals today!

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Dr. Tali Waksman
A graduate from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, Dr. Tali Waksman went on to work as the only dentist on a Native reserve, serving 2000 people after completing a residency at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. With a warm and friendly personality and close attention to detail, she treats every patient like family.