Should I be worried if my child's teeth are coming in crooked?

QUESTION: Should I be worried if my child's teeth are coming in crooked?

Dr Yue Weng Cheu: It is essential to understand that the position of teeth depends on the function of the lips, tongue and cheek. Keep in mind that the way the baby teeth erupt does not determine their final position.

So if you notice your child’s baby teeth are not straight, you should take note of the position of the tongue and check whether there is mouth breathing habit. Use of pacifier and thumb sucking can affect the tongue posture. Of course, there are some genetic influences but it will not affect more than 30% of the outcome. We can still use habit correction to ensure a better outcome of growth and development of the jaw and for the better alignment of teeth.

Dr. Loh Ee Tyug: Besides getting your wisdom teeth removed as directed by your doctor, what could happen if you ignore losing one or more of your other 28 teeth?

While the most obvious effect of missing teeth could be aesthetic, untimely loss of teeth could have a negative effect not only your oral health but also on your overall health.

However, it’s not just about those unsightly gaps. The loss of one tooth may lead to more aggravated issues such as further tooth loss, bite problems, gum disease and tooth decay. Even eventual bone deterioration, and in the rare instance, the potential collapse of facial structure if many teeth are lost. This could make one appear years older than they actually are and cause nutritional and other health troubles.

Regular dental checks can help prevent tooth loss through early detection.

Content contributed by Dr. Loh Ee Tyug of DP Dental.