Ask the average therapist, and they’ll tell you that the first five years of life have a massive effect on the final shape of the personality. Live with caring, loving parents, and you’ll do just fine in life and love. Grow up in an abusive household, and you’ll struggle.
Well, it turns out that the same sentiment applies to your teeth. If your oral health habits are good while you’re young, you’ll wind up with beautiful pearly whites as you get older. If they’re not, then you can develop problems.
Buck teeth are a case in point. They don’t usually happen for genetic reasons. Instead, they’re the result of chronic thumb-sucking. The condition – called malocclusion by dental professionals – occurs when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth by more than two millimeters.
But how does thumb-sucking as a child affect how adult teeth develop? It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. The mechanism is interesting. When children suck their thumb or a pacifier for long periods, it changes the shape of the face. Objects in their mouth actually get in the way of the healthy development of teeth and jaw structures, causing teeth to grow outwards. Eventually, the buck-tooth syndrome develops in the teenage years, often to the total surprise of parents and the individual concerned.
Of course, other factors can lead to buck teeth. We already mentioned genetic factors. Some people have facial structures that predispose them to adult teeth that stick out.
Here are some other causes you need to know about:
- Teeth grinding. This habit puts similar pressure on baby teeth, which, like thumb-sucking, changes the shape of the supporting structures around the mouth.
- Thrusting of the tongue. This one sounds a little strange, but it’s easy to understand. It just involves pushing the tongue forward while swallowing, which, in turn, pushes outward on the teeth.
- Large teeth. Some people naturally have large front teeth, which can give them a goofy appearance.
- Imbalances in the growth of the upper and lower jaw. This usually happens when the teeth on the top can’t put pressure on the bottom.
Solutions For Buck Teeth
Fortunately, if you have buck teeth in the modern world, you have solutions. Many services now let you fit clear braces yourself at home that help to bring the teeth back into line over the course of a few months, restoring the smile to its natural form.
Ideally, you shouldn’t ignore buck teeth because of the problems they cause. People with the condition can experience a variety of issues, such as airway problems and speech impediments. Having teeth that produce an open bite, for instance, can make it hard to say “S,” “V,” and “P” sounds.
Buck teeth also lead to issues with chewing. When the teeth don’t close together correctly, it makes eating difficult, which can lead to digestion problems. Other problems include poor facial structure and lack of confidence.
The best approach is to get the problem sorted. Dealing with it early helps to avoid future problems.