10 doctors weighed in:

Should i be worried about my child's crooked teeth? He's only three, but his teeth look crooked to me. Is this something that can be taken care of through growth, or will we have to get braces for sure? .

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Dentistry - Orthodontics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Ortho needed

Crooked teeth at age 3 is an indication of insufficient arch length.
This is not a self-correcting problem. There are treatments to develop jaw size to better accommodate tooth size, but there are limits. Set your mind at ease, take your child to see a qualified orthodontic specialist for an initial opinion, all children with a malocclusion should see an orthodontist by age 7.

In brief: Ortho needed

Crooked teeth at age 3 is an indication of insufficient arch length.
This is not a self-correcting problem. There are treatments to develop jaw size to better accommodate tooth size, but there are limits. Set your mind at ease, take your child to see a qualified orthodontic specialist for an initial opinion, all children with a malocclusion should see an orthodontist by age 7.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Dr. Arnold Malerman
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Dr. S. Jay Bowman
Dentistry - Orthodontics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No treatment at 3

If the baby teeth are crowded, that typically indicates that the larger permanent teeth will likely be crowded as well.
There is no treatment that would likely be recommended at that time. For peace of mind, ask your dentist for a referral to an orthodontic specialist so you get more information to make you feel comfortable.

In brief: No treatment at 3

If the baby teeth are crowded, that typically indicates that the larger permanent teeth will likely be crowded as well.
There is no treatment that would likely be recommended at that time. For peace of mind, ask your dentist for a referral to an orthodontic specialist so you get more information to make you feel comfortable.
Dr. S. Jay Bowman
Dr. S. Jay Bowman
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Dr. Jonathan Scharf
Dentistry - Cosmetic
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Way

Way too young to worry.
Often these teeth will come in slightly crooked and the lips and tongue straighten them out. If there is a thumb sucking habit this can disturb the alignment. Have him checked and monitored and at the right time the problem will be addressed---just probably not yet.

In brief: Way

Way too young to worry.
Often these teeth will come in slightly crooked and the lips and tongue straighten them out. If there is a thumb sucking habit this can disturb the alignment. Have him checked and monitored and at the right time the problem will be addressed---just probably not yet.
Dr. Jonathan Scharf
Dr. Jonathan Scharf
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Dr. Gregory Johnson
Dentistry - Orthodontics

In brief: Crooked teeth

At three you child is a little young to consider treatment for crooked teeth.
The usual age for initial evaluation is 7. If addressed early with growth guidance and management most crowding problems may be resolved. You don't want to arrive at the full permanent dentition stage with the severe crowding still present.

In brief: Crooked teeth

At three you child is a little young to consider treatment for crooked teeth.
The usual age for initial evaluation is 7. If addressed early with growth guidance and management most crowding problems may be resolved. You don't want to arrive at the full permanent dentition stage with the severe crowding still present.
Dr. Gregory Johnson
Dr. Gregory Johnson
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Dr. Hilary Baskin
Dentistry - Orthodontics

In brief: Wait

I would see an orthodontist by around age 7 or 8.
We will be able to see where and how the adult teeth look to be coming in and came begin treatment, if needed, then. No need to worry about it now (although if you can reduce thumb sucking now it will help you later!).

In brief: Wait

I would see an orthodontist by around age 7 or 8.
We will be able to see where and how the adult teeth look to be coming in and came begin treatment, if needed, then. No need to worry about it now (although if you can reduce thumb sucking now it will help you later!).
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Dr. Hilary Baskin
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In brief: He's

He's way too young to worry right now about how his permanent teeth will come it.
Cannot saw whether he will need braces when he gets older. Take him for his semiannual exams and cleanings, and as his permanent teeth erupt, his dentist will monitor his growth and make any recommendations for orthodontic care.

In brief: He's

He's way too young to worry right now about how his permanent teeth will come it.
Cannot saw whether he will need braces when he gets older. Take him for his semiannual exams and cleanings, and as his permanent teeth erupt, his dentist will monitor his growth and make any recommendations for orthodontic care.
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
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Dr. Harry Aronowitz
Dentistry - Orthodontics

In brief: It

It is unusual for baby teeth to be crooked.
Does he have a sucking habit? Are you seeing spaces between teeth? Spaces between baby teeth are normal and a good thing. Sucking habits can move baby teeth out of place which can in turn guide the adult teeth to be crooked as well. If it is a sucking habit that is causing the problem your child's dentist can help you break the habit.

In brief: It

It is unusual for baby teeth to be crooked.
Does he have a sucking habit? Are you seeing spaces between teeth? Spaces between baby teeth are normal and a good thing. Sucking habits can move baby teeth out of place which can in turn guide the adult teeth to be crooked as well. If it is a sucking habit that is causing the problem your child's dentist can help you break the habit.
Dr. Harry Aronowitz
Dr. Harry Aronowitz
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Dr. David Schleimer
Dentistry - Orthodontics

In brief: Too young

Your child has only primary teeth, and there is much growth left to have many changes occur. There are subtle indications of problems that an orthodontist can detect at this age, but it is far too early to intervene or to worry.
Jaw growth may help create more room at this age, so don't read to much into it now. If needed later, an orthodontist can sort it all out. Good luck!

In brief: Too young

Your child has only primary teeth, and there is much growth left to have many changes occur. There are subtle indications of problems that an orthodontist can detect at this age, but it is far too early to intervene or to worry.
Jaw growth may help create more room at this age, so don't read to much into it now. If needed later, an orthodontist can sort it all out. Good luck!
Dr. David Schleimer
Dr. David Schleimer
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