If your child's teeth have started to become crooked when they initially appeared straight, it could be due to several factors. Here are a few of them:
If a child sucks his or her thumb regularly, the pressure on the roof of the mouth could result in structural changes in the upper palate. These changes can cause the teeth to start to shift in a permanent misalignment, especially if the thumb-sucking continues until after the adult teeth have presented.
To discourage your child from sucking his or her thumb, try the following:
- Put a bandage over the child's thumb. The child is likely accustomed to sucking on skin and may find sucking on a bandage uncomfortable.
- At night, place a sock over the child's thumb. Many children suck their thumb at night as they sleep. The sock would prevent access to the thumb.
- Praise the child whenever he or she refrains from thumb sucking. Each time your child avoids thumb sucking, offering the youngster praise will reinforce the desired action.
- Give the child a stick of sugarless gum. When a child's mouth is occupied by food or gum, he or she is less likely to place a thumb in it.
If your child is nearing his or her teen years, the youngster's wisdom teeth may be growing in. If these teeth grow in a crooked formation, such as sideways, they can place pressure on nearby teeth that forces the once-straight teeth out of alignment.
In some cases, the wisdom teeth may be growing in a lateral pattern instead of vertically. As a result, they may never erupt from the gums. A dental x-ray may be needed to identify the irregular growth pattern, so an offending tooth can be extracted before it causes more alignment issues.
An inadvertent blow to the mouth can cause your child's teeth to shift. The teeth may look straight at first, but if they shifted at the root, the misalignment may become increasingly apparent.
Sometimes, if a tooth loosened by trauma is manipulated back into proper position, future misalignment can be averted. However, it is important to have your child treated by a dentist soon after the traumatic incident in order for the tooth to be manipulated properly.
To learn more about things that could cause your child's teeth to be misaligned, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area such as Pacific Ave Dental/Allan L. Hablutzel, DDS.