ELI5, how do people get ‘crooked’ teeth


Like is it a birth thing or do people do things to make them push back/further apart. I’ve been told I need braces for an overbite, but I barely even understand what that is. My teeth feel fine.

In: 0

Anonymous 0 Comments

More often than not, the crooked teeth, teeth crowding, or jaw abnormalities are genetic. Humans have become better and better at survival regardless of the quality of our jaws and teeth, and we have dental and orthodontic care, so there’s little or no pressure for that trait to improve especially in wealthier countries. When we can process and cook our foods down to be easily eaten, we don’t have to have good teeth like other predators, like big cats. A toothless human won’t starve.

Sometimes, injuries can cause teeth to grow out crooked, or even not come in at all. one of my brothers fell onto metal bars on a playground when he was very small, and it jammed his teeth up into his skull against his permanent teeth.
Sucking on pacifiers or thumbs as a baby/toddler can also negatively impact development.

If you have straight and healthy teeth but have an underbite/overbite, you might not notice any problems because to you, it’s normal. But it’s still worth listening to dental/medical professionals and taking into consideration what they tell you. You might decide not to do anything about it, but the option is there. I can eat much more easily after tooth extractions (including wisdom teeth) and braces, but younger me didn’t know any different. I ate with extremely crowded teeth and an overbite. Fixing an overbite (at least, best they could do for me) means my teeth meet better when biting and chewing. Proper orthodontic care can also help with speech, if teeth positions are causing difficulty forming sounds. Everyone is different.