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Crowded Teeth: Causes, Problems And Treatment

Crowded teeth are a dental condition which affects both children and adults. It leads to teeth misalignment, and sometimes affects oral health and appearance. Dentists recommend that children fix their crowded teeth as there are different treatment options for correcting crowded or overlapping teeth like veneers, braces, and Invisalign.

If you have decided to straighten your crowded teeth or that of your child, this guide will let you know all you should know concerning overcrowded teeth. It also contains the following information.

  • Things that could cause crowded teeth
  • Problems associated with overcrowded teeth
  • Treatment option for overcrowded teeth
  • Answers to common questions asked about crowded teeth

You could straighten either your upper or lower teeth or both, and the treatment is a relatively simple one.

Table of contents

  1. What are the causes of overlapping and crowded teeth?
  2. What problems do overcrowded teeth cause?
  3. How to fix crowded teeth
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQs
  6. Do I need a tooth extraction to correct my overcrowded teeth?
  7. How do braces fix overcrowded teeth?
  8. What is the treatment time for Invisalign?
  9. What brace optionis suitable for treating overcrowding?
  10. How do I correct my crowded teeth at home?
  11. Is it a typical experience to feel pain in my bottom,overcrowded teeth?
  12. How will my teeth look after my overcrowded teeth treatment?
  13. Why are my bottom teeth crowding after my treatment with braces?
  14. How do I fix my crowded teeth without using braces?
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What Are The Causes Of Overlapping And Crowded Teeth?

Different reasons cause the teeth to get overcrowded or overlap. Some of these reasons include:

  • Sucking on the thumb or dummy
  • Getting old
  • Issues with the palate
  • Cleft lip
  • Irregular permanent teeth eruption
  • Irregular size of the teeth
  • Underdeveloped jaw
  • Extra teeth

Most of these causes of crowded teeth occur in children, but the condition tends to get worst as the child ages. Growth comes with changes in the face and jaw. The lower teeth tend to move around and gradually become crooked or overlap with each other, and this leads to crowded teeth in adults.

However, the eruption of wisdom teeth does not cause overcrowding of the teeth, but the molars cause several other problems.

What problems do overcrowded teeth cause?

If the teeth overlap or are crowded, it could lead to the following problems.

  • Increased tooth decay
  • Problems producing speech sounds
  • Low self-esteem
  • Dental issues like gingivitis or gum disease
  • An increase in the build-up of bacteria and plaques due to cleaning difficulty
  • Unusual wearing down of the teeth

Crowded teeth make some people feel unhappy with their look. If this happens to you or you experience any of these issues above, you should get one of the available treatments to straighten the teeth.

How to fix crowded teeth

Different treatment options are available for correcting crowded teeth on the top or bottom part of the jaw. The best treatment option for each case of misalignment is dependent on the severity of the crowding and the amount the patient is willing to pay for treatment.

The NHS usually covers the cost of treating crowded treatment in children if the overcrowding is severe and treatment is medically necessary. If the overcrowding is minor, you may have to opt for private treatment.

Generally, the NHS does not cover cosmetic dentistry procedures, so adults usually get treatment for crowded teeth privately But, the NHS could cover some exceptional cases of severe overcrowding that the adult did not correct in childhood.

The following are treatment options for crowded teeth in both adults and children.


When most people think about treatment for overcrowded teeth, the first thing that comes to mind is braces. It is because braces are the most common orthodontic treatment option, especially for severely crowded teeth. Braces are available in different types.

Fixed braces can either have ceramic or metal brackets which are connected by a metal wire. The brackets and wire exert pressure in the teeth that gradually move them to their right position. The advantage of ceramic braces over metal braces is that the clear variants are either clear or tooth-coloured, which makes them less conspicuous.

The orthodontist may need to place separators between some teeth to make space for fitting the braces. The NHS only cover metal braces for children and adults who are eligible for treatment of overcrowded teeth—if you want any other type of braces or kind of treatment, you will get it at a private dental practice.


You can opt for invisible braces like Invisalign to correct crowded teeth. Invisalign uses a different system which involves a series of clear plastic aligner that you would change after every two weeks until the end of your treatment.

Invisalign treatment for crowded teeth is usually quick, and with the Invisalign Lite system explicitly made to correct mild misalignments, you can have a perfect set of teeth within 6 – 8 months. Treatment for moderate cases of overcrowding may take about 18 months with Invisalign.

Invisalign system also involves clear aligners custom-made to fit over the teeth, so the aligners are barely noticeable. Invisalign corrects about 90% of orthodontic cases, but before you can fix your crowded teeth with them, you will have to take a smile assessment test online or consult your orthodontist.

Remote orthodontic treatments

You can use a remote orthodontic treatment like Straight-My-Teeth to correct mild overcrowding. This treatment option uses aligners that look and function like Invisalign. Although the cost is about £999 because all the treatment procedures are at home— you take your teeth impressions yourself, send them by post to the company, then the company sends you aligners by post with instructions on how to use them. You can also get to have your appointments at your convenience using an app.


Your dentist may suggest either a fixed (lingual) or removable retainer for correct mildly crowded teeth. The benefits of retainer treatments include:

  • They are cheaper than braces
  • You only need to visit the dentist a few times
  • The dentist will fix lingual retainers at the back of the teeth, so they are not obvious


You can also opt for veneers to fix your mildly overcrowded or crooked teeth. Fitting veneers involves your dentist removing a small portion of the enamel then applying a composite or porcelain veneers.

Veneers do not straighten the teeth but make them look straighter as they cover up crooked parts— it makes your smile look beautiful, but they do not take care of the underlying dental issues resulting from overcrowded teeth.

In the future, your other teeth may become misaligned or overcrowded because the pressure that moves the teeth is still present. If you want to get veneers, you would have to pay for them privately because it is a cosmetic dental procedure and the NHS does not cover it.


You may also decide to fit dental crowns to correct your teeth crowding. Fitting crowns involves removing some part of the tooth structure then placing a metal or porcelain cap over the tooth.

The use of dental crowns is not the best treatment option for correcting your crowded teeth, because, the dentist will remove a large part of a healthy tooth to place it. Although the procedure makes the teeth look straight, your dentist will likely discourage you from using it, especially when you need a crown for cosmetic purposes.

Summary of crowded teeth treatment options

The table below summarises the various treatment options for crowded teeth.




Treatment time


Fixed metal braces

£1,500 - £3,000

You will need additional cleaning and flossing during treatment

12 – 24 months depending on the amount of work needed

Provided a long-term fix and required a retainer afterwards

Fixed ceramic braces

£2,000 - £5,500

Needs additional cleaning and flossing during treatment

12 – 24 months which depends on the amount of realignment needed

Provides a long-term fix and requires a retainer afterwards


£70 - £135

Requires cleaning daily after taking them out

6 – 12 months depending onhow severe the misalignment is

Provides long-term fix and requires constant wearing at night

Invisalign braces

£1,500 - £5, 000

Needs cleaning daily and after each removal

6 – 12 months depending on the case

Provides a long-term fix and requires retainers afterwards



Daily cleaning and after removing the aligners

9 – 12 months

Long-term fix and requires retainers

Veneers (per tooth)

Composite - £100- £400

Porcelain- £400 - £1000

Normal oral teeth cleaning

1-2 visits to the dentist  depending on the Type

Lasts for 5 – 10 years then requires replacement

Crowns (per tooth)

£250 - £800

Normal oral cleaning

One or two visits to the dentist

Requires loss of some part of healthy tooth, lasts for 5 – 15 years

Tooth extraction

£50 - £350 (£62.10 on the NHS)

None after initial treatment

One visit to the dentist and the braces if necessary

Permanent loss of teeth, but creates space for braces to move other teeth


The teeth tend to move out of place on their own as we get older. Different treatments options like braces, veneers, and others can help you realign your teeth to look pleasant.

Children also experience overcrowding or overlapping teeth which can be corrected quickly, and the teeth can remain in their right position after treatment as long as the child continues to wear the retainer as the dentist instructs.

Get your overcrowded teeth realigned today at London Braces. We offer different types of treatment for both children and adults, and you can contact us now on 020 37457520 to book an appointment. 

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Do I need a tooth extraction to correct my overcrowded teeth?

Using tooth extraction will depend on your situation. If you have extra teeth, a condition called hyperdontiayou might need to extract the extra tooth. Sometimes, the dentist may recommend tooth extraction for the regular and wisdom teeth to create more room for braces to move the teeth.

Some dentists do not encourage tooth extraction and resort to it only as a last treatment option. If your dentist recommends removing your teeth to fix your crowded teeth, you are free to opt for a second opinion like filing down your teeth to make more space available.

How do braces fix crowded teeth?

Your dentist attaches the braces to the teeth, and they apply pressure and pull the teeth to their right position. Invisalign aligners also work like braces to move the teeth to their perfect place.

The difference between Invisalign and metal braces is that Invisalign is virtually invisible, and you can take you Invisalignaligner trays out to eat and clean the teeth. Braces usually correct crowded teeth between 6 – 24 months.

What is thetreatment time for Invisalign?

Invisalign treatment is usually faster than metal braces. Although the severity of the case determines the length of treatment, mild cases of misalignment only take 6 – 8 months.

Which brace optionis most suitable for treating overcrowding?

The best type of brace for treatment usually depends on the severity of the overcrowding. If you are worried about your look during your treatment, Invisible brace is a good option, but it is usually more expensive. But, if your concern is the cost of treatment, metal braces may be better for you.

How do I fix my crowded teeth at home?

Dentists advise against correcting dental issues like crowded teeth at home. If you have a phobia for dentists’ office and you are considering at-home treatment, use a solution like Straight-My-Teeth. The company will send all you need for your treatment by post. This treatment option is also convenient.

Is it a typical experience to feel pain in my bottom,overcrowded teeth?

It is not normal for you to feel pain in your bottom overcrowded teeth. Having crowded teeth in your lower jaw may likely cause tooth decay. If you feel pain in the lower teeth, ensure you contact your dentist.

How will my teeth look after my overcrowded teeth treatment?

You can obtain an idea of the way your teeth will look after treatment by asking for before and after pictures from your dentist— an image of patients who have straightened their overcrowded teeth using this method can also help you.

Alternatively, your dentist can create a computer simulation with the before and after view of your teeth. You automatically get this computer stimulation if you use Invisalign to correct your overcrowded teeth. 

Why are my bottom teeth crowding after my treatment with braces?

Using braces of any other treatment does not offer a permanent fix for any dental problem. If you used braces as a teenager, you have to continue wearing a retainer, although, this does not stop your teeth from becoming crowded later in life because teeth movement is part of the ageing process.

If you notice that your teeth are gradually moving back to their previous position shortly after your treatment with braces, ensure you visit your dentist to adjust your retainers. 

How do I fix my crowded teeth without using braces?

When it comes to correcting overcrowding, braces are arguably the best option. It does not mean you must use metal braces as there are otherbraces such as ceramic braces which are less noticeable but as effective as metal braces.

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