It’s true that our genes are responsible for creating everything about us, and our smile is no
exception. Certain factors about your smile were inherited from your parents, no question.
Researchers suggest that having parents with poor dental health could predispose you to
having the same issues, so you’ll need to be extra vigilant about your oral care.
But what about orthodontic issues? When it comes to crooked teeth, you likely have mom and
dad to blame for that too. You inherited both of your parents’ genes, so you may have gotten
mom’s small jaw with dad’s large teeth! Here’s how genetics could influence your future
What’s Hereditary and What’s Not
The size of your jaw as well as the shape and size of your teeth are probably inherited from
your parents. Even the spacing of your teeth may be hereditary, meaning that if one of your
parents has crowded teeth, you could have crowded teeth too. Of course, you’ll have your own
unique smile, but elements of it will have come from your parents. If one of your parents had to
have braces, you’ll probably need to have them too.
What’s not hereditary is the health of your smile. Although your oral health is certainly
influenced by that of your parents’, it’s not the sole defining factor. Just because your parents
have tooth decay or gum disease doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have it, although your
risk is heightened. You alone are responsible for your oral care, so do the best job possible
when cleaning your teeth!
Lifestyle Factors That Can Affect Your Need for Braces
Other than inheriting bad mouth structure or crowded teeth from your parents, there are other
things that aren’t specifically related to genes that could affect your need for braces. These
include mouth breathing as a child, which may affect the development of the jaw. Another is
prolonged thumb sucking, which can affect the position of the teeth as they grow.
These behaviors can cause crowding of teeth, gaps, overbites, and underbites. Of course, your
parents are responsible for helping you curb these behaviors as a child, so it’s at least partially
up to them to help limit your need for braces in the future.
What You Can Do
Of course, you can’t change your genes, and the lifestyle factors that would have contributed to
your need for orthodontia are long since past. The most important thing you can do now is
monitor your smile. You can also schedule an appointment with an orthodontist if you haven’t
already done so to determine your need for braces.
Crowded, crooked teeth can impact your dental hygiene (it’s hard to clean those small spaces!)
so getting orthodontic issues addressed can help you take the best possible care of your smile
and prevent oral disease.
Did you inherit crooked teeth or bite issues from your parents? If so, don’t worry. Inheriting
these kinds of problems is normal, but it’s up to you to get the issue addressed if your parents
didn’t. Your smile is uniquely yours, so let it shine!