What Causes Crooked Teeth?

A smile is a game-changer for confidence. But for some people, achieving these results is complex. 

Malocclusion, or as we know it, crooked teeth, can pose a number of health issues beyond aesthetics. 

According to Scientific American, nine out of 10 people have teeth that are least slightly misaligned. 

From genetic predispositions to childhood habits and other developmental factors, the causes of crooked teeth are plenty. 

In this blog post, we explore the many causes of crooked teeth to help you properly prevent or mitigate this condition. 

And, beyond helping you understand the root causes, we want to arm you with knowledge so you can make informed decisions about your oral health. 

So, let’s uncover the most common reasons.

6 Common Causes of Crooked Teeth


Genetics plays a role in determining the size and shape of a person’s jawbone and the positioning of their teeth. 

Individuals with a family history of malocclusion are more apt to develop crooked teeth. 

Jaw Size and Shape

Building off the last point, the size and shape of the upper and lower jaws can cause crowding or spacing issues, creating crooked teeth. 

Childhood Habits

Prolonged pacifier use, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, nail-biting, and mouth breathing are all habits that can adversely affect the development of a child’s teeth and jaw. These habits place pressure on the teeth, which causes them to shift out of alignment.

Early Loss of Baby Teeth

Whether due to decay, trauma or other reasons, early loss of baby teeth can disrupt the natural pattern of a person’s permanent teeth. Without the primary teeth to act as a guide, the permanent teeth may emerge in the wrong position, leading to crooked teeth. 


When there’s inadequate space in the jaw for permanent teeth to come through, it can result in crowding, where the teeth become overlapped or twisted. 

Causes of crowding are small jaw size, loss of primary teeth, or extra teeth. 

Poor Oral Hygiene

Irregular brushing and flossing can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Over time, these issues affect the stability and alignment of teeth, increasing the risk of crooked teeth.

Orthodontic Treatment for Crooked Teeth

While factors beyond a person’s control cause crooked teeth, maintaining good and consistent oral hygiene habits can create positive outcomes. 

Common orthodontic treatments for crooked teeth include:

  • Braces – Traditional braces are a tried-and-true method of treating crooked teeth. By applying gentle pressure over time, braces gradually shift a person’s teeth into proper alignment.
  • Invisalign – This orthodontic treatment for crooked teeth uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gently move misaligned teeth into the proper alignment. This approach provides patients with convenience as it can easily be removed while eating and brushing and flossing. 

Both options not only improve the aesthetics of a person’s smile, but they also promote improved oral hygiene as straight teeth are easier to clean and care for which reduces a person’s risk of cavities, gum disease and jaw discomfort. 

Orthodontic Treatment in St. Augustine and St. John’s Florida You Can Trust

If you or your child has crooked teeth, scheduling a timely orthodontic evaluation and creating a treatment plan can help prevent and/or mitigate the severity of the condition. 

As a trusted orthodontist in St. Augustine and St. John’s, Florida, we offer expert orthodontic care for kids, teens, and adults. 

Schedule your complimentary consultation to get started!