What Causes Crooked Teeth and How to Straighten Them

What Causes Crooked Teeth In Adults?

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Most people are used to talking about crooked teeth in adolescents but few consider that adults can also get crooked teeth. Crooked teeth are not only unattractive, but they can also cause discomfort and pain.

Crooked teeth in adults can be caused by many things. Fortunately, adults have options to straighten their teeth just as teens do.

Crooked Teeth
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Correcting tooth and jaw alignment

Four primary factors cause or contribute to crooked teeth in adults. They are:

  • Trauma such as a sports injury or car accident
  • Genetics
  • Bad habits
  • Poorly fitted braces

Crooked teeth can be caused by trauma, such as an accident or sports injury.

Trauma is a primary cause of crooked teeth in adults. Those who play sports or who have been in some type of accident can find the incident left them with crooked teeth. It’s important to see a dentist after any such incident to avoid lifelong oral problems.

Some people just get the short straw when it comes to teeth and genetics. Teeth can move as an adult and those who have genetically weak teeth will find they may end up with crooked teeth as an adult.


Causes of Crooked Teeth in Adults
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Bad Habits Can Make Teeth Crooked

Many moms were told over the decades not to let their children such their thumbs or use pacifiers after their baby teeth came in because both could cause their teeth to become crooked. That is true for children but adults can have similar issues with bad habits.

Using your teeth to open things like packages or bottles can not only cause them to go crooked but break them. While adults don’t suck on thumbs or pacifiers, they can suck on other things like lollipops, candies, or straws that could cause teeth to move over time.

Poorly fitted braces are often responsible for crooked teeth in adults.

Many people get braces as a teen and think their days of crooked teeth are over. They are disappointed to find they have similar problems later in life. That can be attributed to the fact that poorly fitted braces are often responsible for crooked teeth in adults. Braces that are too tight or too loose can cause problems, as well as braces that aren’t adjusted regularly.

Teeth Crooked
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Should You Get Braces?

Braces are the most common way to straighten teeth, but they’re not always the best option for adults. If you have crooked teeth and want to wear braces, your dentist will use metal wires that are bonded to each tooth. The wires pull the teeth into place as they grow stronger over time.

It’s not as uncommon as it once was for adults to have braces. According to statistics, more than 1 million Americans are wearing braces to straighten their teeth.

Many adults opting for braces are deciding to straighten their teeth now because they didn’t have the access to orthodontic treatments during their childhood or teenage years. For many, it’s an appearance issue but there are also spacing issues that prompt many to go for treatment.


Should You Get Braces

The good news is today’s treatments are far more advanced than they were decades ago and that means adults have more options than ever. Also, newer treatments mean shorter treatment times and that is beneficial to adults opting for traditional braces.

Plus, there are different types of braces available and that gives people more options. Clear or ceramic braces are less noticeable than metal braces and lingual braces are put on behind the teeth so they can’t be seen. However, they can cause some speech issues and can feel uncomfortable against your tongue.

Braces can present some unique problems for adults. They may need to be removed if you have an injury or illness. Wearing them too long as an adult can cause damage to your gums, jawbone, or teeth. Your dentist will be able to explain all the risks of wearing braces as an adult.

Treatment with braces can also be expensive but the bigger concern with adults is the fact they can be seen. Adults don’t like the fact that others will know they have braces. After all, those are things done in high school, right?

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Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional metal braces

Invisalign has grown in popularity among adults who want straighter teeth but want an alternative to metal braces. Invisalign is a clear, removable aligner treatment that uses the same principles as traditional metal braces but without the need for metal brackets.

It is a product no one has to know you are using. You can still smile for pictures and continue in your career while keeping your oral treatments to yourself.

Invisalign can be used to straighten teeth and improve alignment by gently moving them into their ideal positions through gradual adjustments over time. It is a great option for adults who want to straighten their teeth without the use of metal braces.


Consider these things before starting Invisalign treatment. While Invisalign is a great product, you should look at your individual needs to determine if it’s the right option for you.

For instance, those with a crooked bite may be served better to have traditional braces. A misalignment when it comes to biting isn’t something the Invisalign product is adept at fixing. Talk to your dentist if you have additional needs beyond wanting straight teeth.



There are many ways to combat crooked teeth.

Many methods exist to get straight teeth. Besides metal braces and Invisalign, there are clear braces or ceramic braces, self-litigating braces, and lingual braces. You can also go with veneers and tooth reshaping.

The most popular method is to use traditional metal braces. However, if you are looking for an alternative to traditional metal braces, Invisalign may be a better option for you.

With so many options available, you should be able to find one that works for you and your lifestyle. The only way to know which one will work best is to talk to your orthodontist.