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Four Bad Habits That Could Cause Crooked Teeth

By Kellyn Hodges on September 06, 2016

A girl hugging her brotherTo be certain, most cases of misalignment and malocclusion and are not caused by bad habits, or at least not bad habits that we carry into adolescence or adulthood. Some people, whether due to factors that influenced their teeth as infants or pure genetics, will require braces to straighten their teeth regardless of their oral health practices or habits. It is generally incorrect to assume that a person would require braces simply due to bad habits.

On the other hand, it would be incorrect to assume that bad habits cannot contribute to misalignment or malocclusion; likewise, it would be incorrect to assume that bad habits could not undo some of the hard work done during orthodontic treatment. It is for this reason that Dr. Kellyn Hodges is careful to detail habits that can cause crooked teeth during consultations at her Philadelphia, PA orthodontics practice. It is important that patients know what these habits are so that they can avoid them and do what they can to promote the success of their orthodontic treatment.

We invite you to read the following bad habits that can contribute to misalignment and malocclusion and then contact Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Hodges.

Four Bad Habits That Can Contribute to Misalignment and Malocclusion

Again, it is important to note that, in isolation, none of these habits are likely to cause such severe misalignment or malocclusion that a person would require braces or another orthodontic treatment. However, one or more of these habits could certainly make existing misalignment or malocclusion worse, and they could definitely impair the results of orthodontic treatment.

1.    Bruxism: Bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, is a bad habit that many people aren’t aware that they have because many people do it unconsciously, usually while they are asleep. Most general dentists can diagnose and treat bruxism through a combination of therapies. The most common, and often effective, therapy involves the patient wearing a custom mouth guard while he or she is sleeping.

2.    Thumb-sucking: Although many people are loath to admit it, thumb-sucking is a habit that many people carry into their adolescent years and even into adulthood. While it may be a soothing means of coping with stress, it can also wreak havoc on the bite - yes, even among adults.

3.    Poor diet and oral hygiene habits: Tooth loss will affect tooth alignment and the bite more quickly and dramatically than any other factor. Gum disease and tooth decay are the two leading causes of tooth loss among American adults. Poor diet and at-home oral hygiene habits, not to mention a failure to visit the dentist regularly, make gum disease and tooth decay nearly inevitable.

4.    Sleeping on your stomach: In 1981, Dr. Hal A. Huggins reported in a study that infants who slept on their stomachs could develop facial and spinal abnormalities as well as crooked teeth. Many dentists and orthodontists have since suggested that when people sleep on their stomachs, they exert hours of force on their teeth and jaws that can contribute to misalignment and malocclusion, regardless of their age.

Learn More about Habits That May Cause Crooked Teeth

To learn more about bad habits that could contribute to crooked teeth, please contact Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics today.

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