When most people hear the phrase 'crooked teeth,' they tend to think about a smile that needs braces to correct misaligned teeth. However, in children, sometimes teeth being crooked is absolutely normal. Here's why you shouldn't panic about the possibility of braces in your child's future just yet.

Baby Teeth

When a child's baby teeth are first coming in, there's a lot going on under the surface. Your child's entire mouth is still growing and changing shape, which means that the bone and gum tissues have to grow to keep up. When baby teeth are just starting to come in, they may appear crooked, twisted, or like they're just leaning to one side. At this point, there's no reason for you to be concerned. This is quite the common occurrence!

Why They're Crooked

Since the shape of the jaw is still changing dramatically, your child's first baby teeth don't have anything to literally lean on. Since there's no sort of physical barrier above the level of the gums, a tooth can veer out of position quite easily. However, this doesn't mean that it's a permanent problem.

As your child's surrounding baby teeth start to come in, their teeth will undergo a sort of natural braces adjustment. Every tooth needs space to fully emerge, so as they push against any tooth that's taken up their space, the tooth will gradually be reset back into a natural position. Assuming that your child's gums and jaw are growing properly, what looks like a crooked tooth to you now could be in a normal place in a matter of months.

When It's Permanent

While it's true that early on crooked teeth aren't a problem, there will come a time when still having crooked teeth means that they're permanent.

If you haven't seen any kind of improvement in the positioning of your child's teeth after they've all emerged fully, or if the positioning has gotten worse the more teeth have come in, this means that your child will likely need braces in the future. In the meantime, it's a good idea to see a dentist to make sure that any overcrowding won't end up hurting your child or their dental health.

The surest way to know if your child's teeth are on track is to visit your child's dentist. Their general pediatric dentist will be able to tell through an examination and X-rays if everything is proceeding normally or if intervention may be required once all their teeth have come in.

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