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Types of Crooked Teeth: Understanding and Treating Misaligned Smiles

by Youth Dental

Types of Crooked Teeth: Understanding and Treating Misaligned Smiles

Reviewed By Dr. Jodi Kuhn

Reading time: 5 minutes

Crooked teeth, also known as malocclusion, are not properly aligned within the mouth. This can cause a range of oral health issues and may affect a child’s self-confidence.

Certain factors contribute to the development of crooked teeth, including genetics, environmental factors, habits like thumb-sucking, and even injuries sustained to the mouth during childhood.

This blog post will explore the different types of crooked teeth, explain how they affect oral health, and offer tips on maintaining proper oral hygiene.

Key Takeaway

Crooked teeth, known as malocclusions, can affect both your appearance and oral health. They may cause issues like tooth decay, gum diseases, and difficulty chewing. Treatments like braces, clear aligners, and surgery are used to treat crooked teeth.

Types of Crooked Teeth

There are several types of crooked teeth, and each has its own unique characteristics. Some people may have a combination of these types, making their smile more complex to treat.


A crossbite is a type of malocclusion where one or more of the upper teeth bite down on the inside of the lower teeth rather than fitting together as they should. 

This can lead to uneven wear, tooth decay, and gum disease and can even cause jaw problems such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). 


An underbite occurs when the lower jaw extends farther out than the upper jaw, causing the lower teeth to overlap the upper teeth when the mouth is closed. 

This can lead to difficulty chewing, speech issues, and an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. 

Open Bite

An open bite malocclusion is when the front teeth do not touch when the mouth is closed, leaving a noticeable gap. 

This type of bite can make it difficult to chew and bite properly, as well as cause speech challenges and an increased risk of tooth decay due to improper oral hygiene. 

Deep Bite

A deep bite is a type of malocclusion where the upper front teeth cover the lower front teeth too much, sometimes even causing the upper teeth to touch the lower gums. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, as well as potential damage to the jaw joint. 


Overcrowding occurs when there is not enough space within the mouth for all the adult teeth, causing them to shift out of alignment. 

This can make it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene, which increases the risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Treatment often involves orthodontic devices, like braces or clear aligners, and in some cases, tooth removal to create more space.


Spacing is the opposite of overcrowding, where there are gaps between the teeth. This can occur as a result of tooth loss, or simply because the teeth are smaller than average.

Why Treat Crooked Teeth?

Aside from the aesthetic concerns of having a misaligned smile, there are several important reasons to consider treating crooked teeth.

Crooked teeth can impact oral health by making it difficult to properly clean all surfaces of the teeth. This increases the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues.

Malocclusion can also lead to jaw pain, headaches, and difficulty chewing, which can affect your overall well-being and quality of life.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are various treatment options available for correcting crooked teeth and improving oral health.

  • Braces: Traditional metal braces are a common choice for correcting misaligned teeth. This method uses brackets and wires to gradually shift the teeth into proper alignment.
  • Clear Aligners: Clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, are a more discreet option for straightening teeth. They use custom-made clear trays that fit over the teeth to gradually move them into place.
  • Retainers: After completing orthodontic treatment, a retainer may be necessary to maintain the new alignment of the teeth.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be needed to correct severe malocclusions or jaw misalignment.

It is important to consult with an orthodontist to determine the best course of treatment for your individual case. They will consider factors such as severity of the misalignment, age, and overall oral health when recommending a treatment plan.

The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

Regardless of the type of malocclusion or chosen treatment method, it is important to maintain proper oral hygiene to prevent dental issues and promote overall health. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups.

Follow these tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy:

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste to strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay.
  • Limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks, as they can erode tooth enamel.
  • Avoid harmful habits like smoking or vaping, which can lead to oral health problems.
  • Wear a mouthguard during physical activities or sports to protect your teeth from injury.

Your Orthodontist in Denver

Having crooked teeth can affect more than just your appearance. It can impact your oral health and overall well-being. Understanding the different types of malocclusion and seeking treatment from an experienced orthodontist can help improve your smile and oral health.

At Hampden Youth Dentistry and Orthodontics, our orthodontist is experienced in treating various types of crooked teeth. We offer a range of orthodontic treatment options, including traditional braces and Invisalign, to help our patients achieve a straighter, healthier smile.

Don’t let crooked teeth hold you back any longer. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a confident, healthy smile.  To book an appointment at Hampden Youth Dentistry and Orthodontics, call (303) 953-8801 or complete the online booking form.

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