If you’ve ever struggled with the natural alignment of your teeth, you’ve probably asked yourself just why they are the way they are.
You might be particularly keen to know what the causes of poor teeth alignment are if you are a parent yourself. Many parents ask if their children are likely to inherit their poor teeth alignment.
How much of your teeth alignment is genetic?
Our genes determine the shape and size of our jaw. This is the major factor in how our teeth end up being aligned. The amount of space there is in our jaw impacts on the position our adult teeth emerge in.
People with smaller jaws may be more likely to have problems with overcrowding or other malocclusions.
Does this mean your children will definitely share your teeth alignment?
Genetics is a very complicated science. Though the shape and size of our jaws is determined by genes inherited from our parents, this may or may not mean that we have similar jaw shapes to one or both of our parents.
In short, genetics is a lottery; there’s no way of knowing whether or not your children will have the same alignment problems as you.
Are there other factors?
There are other factors involved in poor teeth alignment. Using a dummy or thumb-sucking over a prolonged period is known to sometimes cause issues. Injuries to the jaw can also cause problems, as can gum disease and losing baby teeth too early.
What should you do if you’re concerned about your child’s teeth alignment
If you’re concerned your child may have inherited poor teeth alignment, the best thing to do is to speak to a specialist orthodontist. Your orthodontist will be able to advise on whether your child may benefit from early intervention.