Crooked teeth or jaw misalignment can leave you unsatisfied with the appearance of your smile. Orthodontic issues can cause oral health concerns beyond cosmetic issues. Some orthodontic problems occur due to genetics, but others stem from bad oral habits. Dr. Ami Barakat, an orthodontist in Stittsville, ON, describes three oral habits that can lead to dental problems requiring treatment with orthodontics.
Childhood thumb sucking
Sucking thumbs or fingers is a common behavior for infants. As a child grows older, these habits can affect the development of their teeth and jaw. Baby teeth fall out, but it is important to care for these teeth because they influence the growth of permanent teeth. The consistency of this sucking behavior can lead to dental issues.
An object that is often in the mouth may leave a young patient with an open bite. This occurs when a patient’s top and bottom teeth do not touch when biting down. Thumb sucking can pull at the top arch of teeth and cause them to protrude over the bottom teeth in what is called an overbite. Both of these orthodontic issues can be fixed with Invisalign or traditional braces.
Biting lips or nails
Biting lips or nails is another habit that can develop during childhood and continue when a patient becomes an adult. Chewing lips usually involves the top teeth covering and biting the bottom lip. This behavior causes problems similar to thumb sucking in that the action can pull teeth forward to create an overbite. Nail biting exposes your teeth to the pressure of biting hard objects, which can damage teeth. The abnormal pressure can also cause teeth to shift, creating alignment issues. This misalignment can occur even if the behavior starts in adulthood.
Poor oral hygiene
Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing daily are part of a healthy oral hygiene routine. Proper oral hygiene habits keep your mouth stable enough to support your teeth, decreasing the risk of shifting teeth. If plaque is not removed with brushing, it may harm your teeth and gums to the point where teeth fall out and gums recede. Your dentist can treat tooth decay and gum disease, but it is important to keep these issues at bay before tooth loss or other extensive damage occurs. Good oral hygiene practices can prevent these issues.
Orthodontics available in Stittsville, ON
Ottawa Orthodontics provides Invisalign and other orthodontic treatments to patients in Stittsville, ON. Dr. Barakat can treat crooked teeth, jaw misalignment, and more in patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 613.655.9966.