Until recently, you might have happily tolerated your crowded smile. Teeth become crowded when there's not enough space in the dental arch for them to erupt in a straight and symmetrical manner. Severe dental crowding generally requires orthodontic treatment at an early age, but you may not have been concerned about your mild crowding, and so didn't seek treatment. The trouble is that the position of your teeth may still change, even in adulthood.

Under Pressure 

Teeth are under a tremendous amount of pressure. In addition to bite pressure from chewing food, teeth are exposed to the physical force of your other teeth—those in the opposite dental arch, which come into contact with each other when your jaw is closed. Not everyone with mild dental crowding will experience future complications, but some may find that their crowding worsens.


As dental crowding progresses, teeth may begin to rotate in their sockets in response to the excessive and uneven bio-mechanical forces they're experiencing. The existing uneven placement of your teeth means that the physical forces they're subjected to are inevitably going to be uneven too. Teeth may eventually begin to overlap each other. Unfortunately, if your mild dental crowding progresses, you cannot go without treatment.

Clear Aligners

Seek orthodontic treatment as early as you begin to suspect that something is amiss. Your orthodontist has less intensive options that will be perfectly effective if treatment is sought before the issue becomes too severe. You may be able to correct the problem with clear aligners, such as Invisalign. These discreet transparent aligners slot over your teeth and promote bone remodeling, which gently pushes your teeth into the correct alignment. Each aligner tray is only worn for a brief period, before being replaced by the next in the series, which has a subtly different shape. 

Accelerated Braces

Even if your dental crowding has progressed to the stage where clear aligners are unlikely to have the desired effect, you still have several options. You might be a candidate for accelerated braces, which are also called fast braces. They direct more pressure towards the root of the tooth, using the special configuration of the braces' wire and the brackets attached to your teeth. This also encourages bone remodeling and greatly speeds up treatment time. Since your dental crowding is still only moderate, this might be a viable option for you.

Even traditional dental braces can be used, and this may be the least expensive option. If you delay seeking treatment for the progression of your dental crowding, traditional braces may prove to be the only option. This is why it's important to discuss your treatment options with an orthodontist as soon as you suspect that your dental crowding is worsening.