5 Things Adults Can Do About Crooked Teeth
What Adults Can Do for Crooked or Crowded Teeth
Having crooked teeth is one issue that can really impact your willingness to smile. Many adults find themselves dealing with crooked teeth either because they never received orthodontic treatment as children or due to new issues arising in adulthood.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways that adults can deal with crooked teeth. From adult orthodontics to lifestyle changes, you can make real progress toward a straighter smile.
1. Find out what your dentist has to say.
One of the very first steps you should take if you think you have crooked teeth is to consult your dentist. They’ll be able to perform an evaluation to determine the extent and nature of any bite or malocclusion issues. Clearer insight into your dental issues can let your dentist define an effective treatment plan.
In many cases, crooked teeth are far from strictly cosmetic. They can affect your ability to chew naturally and cause a wide range of complications. You could end up dealing with gingivitis and gum disease due to misaligned teeth.
Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism) also play into the picture. These can not only be caused by misalignment issues but also contribute to crooked teeth even more. Bruxism increases your risk of tooth decay as well.
Individuals with crooked teeth can also find themselves dealing with TMJ disorders. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge between your lower jawbone and the rest of your skull. A bad bite can cause significant strain on your TMJ, leading to soreness, sensitivity, and pain.
Your dentist will be able to recommend an effective treatment plan, which may include adult orthodontics, to address these issues if they are present.
2. Maintain good oral health habits.
If you’re dealing with crooked teeth or other types of misalignments, you’re likely at significant risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. That’s why it’s so important to maintain good oral health habits.
You should always make sure to have an effective brushing routine in place. Dentists recommend that you brush two times a day to prevent bacteria and plaque buildup from causing tooth decay. Fluoride toothpaste can also help by remineralizing enamel to protect against decay.
Flossing once a day is just as important. Bits of food and bacteria can build up in the nooks and crannies around your teeth. These cause decay and also contribute to gum disease. Flossing is an essential part of any effective oral health routine because it targets these isolated areas.
3. Stick to a healthy diet.
Of course, your diet also plays a major role in your oral health. Starchy and sugary foods can lead to tooth decay, an issue exacerbated by crooked teeth. Tooth decay can drastically affect the appearance of your smile—particularly if it goes untreated long enough to require a tooth extraction at some point. And an extraction can cause other teeth to shift into the new gap.
Some of the best foods to eat for oral health include dairy products. These are rich in calcium, a vital mineral for maintaining the health of your teeth. Whether acquired through milk, cheese, yogurt, or other options, dairy is always great for oral health.
Fruits and vegetables are also great. The appropriate balance of sugars found in these foods reduces the risk of tooth decay compared to processed sugars, while the high water and fiber content serve to naturally clean your teeth, although that’s no reason to skip brushing.
Whole grains also play an important role in oral health. The complex carbohydrates inside whole grains provide a useful source of nutrition without the negative impact of refined sugars.
4. Limit snacking between meals.
When you snack between meals, you greatly increase the period of time that bacteria in your mouth have access to sugar. Even a small snack leaves sugar and food particles behind on your teeth, allowing bacteria to thrive and grow.
If you stick to three square meals per day, there are only a few select periods throughout the day when bacteria are able to grow. Expanding that window opens the door to increased risk of tooth decay that can harm your smile.
5. Try braces or other options.
Braces and other adult orthodontic options provide an incredibly effective treatment for crooked teeth. By exerting steady pressure, they can guide your teeth into their proper positions.
Today, there are many options that you can access using an orthodontist in the Omaha metro area. These include both conventional braces and clear aligners. With clear aligners, you can achieve a straighter smile without drawing attention to your treatment.
Start straightening your smile today.
If you aren’t satisfied with the appearance of your smile, you can reach out to our team at The Tooth Doc for a consultation. We can evaluate your unique situation and develop an effective treatment plan. For an orthodontist in the Omaha metro area that you can count on, contact our office today.