The orthodontic condition “crowded teeth” (or “overcrowded teeth”) occurs when there is not enough space in the mouth for permanent teeth to grow properly. As a result, teeth may grow in a crooked formation and overlap each other, which is what we call “crowding”.
What Causes “Overcrowded Teeth”?
Teeth may become crowded for a few reasons, including:
- Teeth are larger than the jaw. When teeth are larger than the jaw allows, they have nowhere to go! This causes them to overlap or twist.
- Too small of a jaw. (This is why many young patients require palatal expanders.) When the jaw is not wide enough to accommodate permanent teeth, the teeth will crowd and overlap.
- Loss of baby teeth too early. If the baby teeth shed earlier than normal, other teeth may shift and fill the empty space.
- Baby teeth don’t fall out normally. If a baby tooth remains in the mouth for too long, the adult teeth don’t have the space they need to erupt, causing them to grow in a crowded formation.
Can My Crowded Teeth Be Fixed?
The type of treatment that our orthodontists recommend for overcrowded teeth depends on the patient’s age and whether the crowded teeth are mild, moderate, or severe. If you have overcrowded teeth, you may be a good candidate for braces or Invisalign!
What is Mild, Moderate and Severe Crowding?
- Mild Crowding: Teeth are mildly crowded when one tooth in the upper or lower jaw is slightly rotated.
- Moderate Crowding: Teeth are moderately crowded when two to three teeth in the upper or lower jaw are overlapping.
- Severe Crowding: Teeth are severely crowded when most of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw are overlapping.
How to Fix Crowded Teeth With Braces
Braces are the most common orthodontic treatment for crowded teeth. (Braces are for kids
, teens and adults
, and can be used to improve smile aesthetics and smile functionality!)
If you have crowded teeth, it is not only important to realign the teeth, but to realign the jaws and bite position as well. There are many types of braces to choose from, including traditional metal braces, clear braces, and lingual braces.
The typical treatment time for braces is around 12-24 months, but could be longer depending on your condition and the severity of your case. After your first braces appointment, you will visit our orthodontic office every four to eight weeks until your treatment is completed. Each time you visit our office, our orthodontists will assess your progress to make sure your teeth are on the right track!
How to Fix Crowded Teeth With Invisalign
Invisalign is a modern form of clear braces used to treat crowded teeth and other common orthodontic conditions! Many patients can fix their crowded teeth with invisalign, however, not all
cases of crowded teeth can be treated with Invisalign. This is why it’s important to schedule your complimentary consultation
so our experienced orthodontists can determine whether Invisalign is the best treatment route for you!
Invisalign technology works in a series of clear, removable, BPA-free plastic aligners. These aligners are custom-designed to your teeth. They work gradually (but surely) to correct crowding by shifting the teeth further into alignment with each new set.
Is It Risky to Leave Crowded Teeth Untreated?
Orthodontic treatment goes far beyond the smile; it improves your oral health and your overall quality of life too! When the teeth are crowded and overlapping, it’s difficult to clean between each tooth. Bacteria and plaque can build up between the teeth, which can lead to cavities, gum disease and tooth decay!
Straight teeth are easier to clean, brush and floss—this means better oral hygiene! People with moderate to severe crowding are at a higher risk of developing speech problems as well as various health complications. So, yes! It’s quite risky to leave a crowded condition untreated.
Still Have Questions About Overcrowded Teeth?
If you have crowded teeth, or you’re not sure whether your teeth are crowded, we encourage you to reach out to us at any of our locations in Montgomery
, or Millbrook
. Our Just for Grins team
is excited to meet you and answer any of your questions.