Your little one’s toothy smile can make your days brighter. However, if you notice the milk teeth coming in crooked, it can be a cause for worry, even if you know that these are only temporary teeth and your baby will soon shed them for a set of permanent pearly whites. There is a possibility that the permanent teeth will also develop crookedly.
Being a parent means that you worry about the smallest and the biggest issues alike. You wonder if this misalignment in your child’s teeth will cause them lifelong problems. Here’s what you need to understand about the reasons for crooked teeth in babies:
1. A small jaw
Since a baby’s tiny jaw is still developing and smaller in size, there will be difficulty accommodating all the teeth cropping up. This may cause them to overcrowd or take up crooked positions.
2. Poor Oral Habits
Many oral habits are formed right from the early days of your baby’s life. Prolonged habits like thumb sucking, pacifier use, tongue thrusting, or mouth breathing can affect the mouth’s muscle functions and even cause misalignment of the teeth.
3. Lack of Dental Care
It is important to take your baby to a pediatric dentist for check-ups. Improper dental care can lead to gum diseases, cavities, etc., which can also be responsible for crooked teeth.
If you or your partner has crooked teeth, then there is a possibility that your tot will have it too. Your baby’s chances of developing crooked teeth are more if s/he inherits a small jaw from one parent and big teeth from the other.
5. Sleeping on the stomach
If your baby has the habit of sleeping on his/her tummy, then it’s time to change the habit. Sleeping on the stomach can put extra pressure on the cheeks and gums. This results in the precursors developing crookedly.
6. Cyst or tumour
In sporadic cases, there might be a cyst or tumour growing inside the baby’s mouth. This causes the teeth in that region to protrude or get misaligned. Consulting a dentist would be ideal so that your baby can get proper medical care and treatment.
Here are a few things you can do to correct your baby’s crooked teeth:
- Inculcate good oral habits
It is better to start practicing good dental hygiene from the time your baby starts teething. Clean your baby’s mouth after every feed, and make sure you remove all food residues thoroughly. Use a moist cloth to wipe the insides of your baby’s mouth and gently massage the gums. Once your toddler is ready to start brushing on their own, teach them the proper technique of doing it so that the sides and all the cavities are cleaned.
- Correct myofunctional habits
Habits such as sucking on the thumb, pacifier or bottle for a prolonged time can cause the teeth to turn out crooked. Try to wean your baby off these habits at least by the age of 2. Sometimes, children find it harder to stop sucking their thumb till they are in school, which adversely impacts their speech, digestion, and even growth.
- Regular dental check-ups
Even though many parents ignore it, but your baby must get a dental check-up as soon as s/he starts teething or even before. A paediatric dentist will tell if there is any problem with your baby’s teeth and the treatments to rectify them.
It’s not necessary that if your child has crooked teeth now, they won’t develop a perfect set of permanent teeth. What is more important is that you help them develop good oral hygiene and dental habits. This way, they won’t need braces in the future and have a healthy smile for a long time.