Many orthodontic consultations are prompted by family dentists, parents and children to address crowded teeth.   Dental crowding may be related to any number of factors:

  1. Large teeth, small jaws (genetics)
  2. Premature loss of primary (baby) teeth
  3. Habits
  4. Age

Dental crowding may be corrected with orthodontic treatment. The extraction of permanent teeth, in most cases bicuspids, to create the space needed to straighten the teeth, may be necessary depending upon a number of critical factors. In most cases, the orthodontist tries not to extract teeth but in a select number of cases there may be no other option.

Dental crowding almost always becomes worse with age. Research shows that the processes that lead to late crowding of the teeth is similar to other age-related changes such as wrinkling of the skin and graying of the hair. One may experience crowding later in life irrespective if one has had orthodontic treatment as an adolescent. Research has also demonstrated that late crowding is not related to the presence of wisdom teeth. Because the mechanisms that lead to late crowding of the teeth are better understood, orthodontic retainers are often permanently bonded to the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth once treatment is complete to prevent crowding later in life.

Orthodontic treatment can be an important step towards optimizing your dental health. Visit your certified CAO orthodontist for a consultation for anyone in the family with crowded teeth.

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