Crowded back teeth corrected with braces

In this before and after, you are going to see how braces helped fix crowding of the back teeth. The pictures below are from one of Dr. Viechnicki’s actual patients with crowding of her back bottom teeth between her upper and lower teeth.

Before and after braces fix crowding back teeth

Photograph of crowded bottom back teeth. Two teeth are crowded-out because there is not enough space for them to fit.

(Actual patient from Kendall Park, NJ.)

Problems Caused by Crowded Back Teeth

Crowded back teeth cause problems for the healthy teeth around them.

1. Crowded teeth look like extra teeth: Crowded teeth can make it look like there is an extra row of teeth – even if the normal number of teeth are present.

2. Crowded teeth may be in the wrong place: Crowded teeth in the wrong place cause damage to the gums and neighboring teeth. Plaque is easily trapped between teeth and gums of crowded teeth, making brushing and flossing difficult.

3. Crowded teeth may get stuck in the bone: Lack of space can prevent a tooth from coming into the mouth. Instead, the tooth gets stuck in the bone and becomes impacted. Impacted teeth are known to cause a host of problems including:

  • Bad breath
  • Pain or tenderness of the gums or jaw bone
  • Prolonged headache or jaw ache
  • Redness and swelling of the gums around the impacted tooth
  • Visible gap where a tooth did not emerge

Straightening Crowded Back Teeth

Braces fix crowded back teeth by making space for the rest of the teeth.

How to fix crowded back teeth with braces

Month 1: Place braces.

During braces make space for crooked teeth.

Month 2: Space made by removing select back teeth. Now there us enough space for the rest of the teeth to be straight and healthy.

After braces with crowded teeth straightened

Month 6: Space is completely closed.

How Does Crowding Happen?

Many parents wonder why their child's teeth look crooked. Some even wonder if they did something wrong to cause their child's orthodontic problems.

Crowding happens when there is not enough space for the teeth in the jaws. There are genetic an environmental causes for the mismatch between the size of the teeth and the size of the jaws. Examples of the causes of crowding include:

Small jaws: When a child has small jaws but a normal size and number of teeth, then there is not enough room for the teeth to align. The Orthodontic solution is typically to increase the size of the jaws by expansion.

Large teeth: When a child has large teeth and a normal sized jaw, there is not enough room for the teeth to align. The Orthodontic solution is to reduce the size of the teeth or to reduce the number of teeth.

Too many teeth: Occasionally, children develop more than the normal number of 32 teeth. These extra teeth are called supernumerary teeth. The Orthodontic solution is to remove the extra teeth.

Wrongly positioned teeth: Sometimes the back teeth come in too far forward. That means that the rest of the teeth have less space to come in (See pictures above). This happens because of early loss of baby teeth. The Orthodontic solution to is to reduce the size of the teeth or to reduce the number of teeth. Orthodontists can also prevent the forward movement of the back teeth if a space maintainer is placed in time.

A combination of large teeth and small jaws: The most common cause of crowding is a combination of the problems mentioned above. The Orthodontist will need to evaluate the cause of the crowding in order to make a recommendation about the best treatment to straighten the teeth.


Crowding happens when there is not enough space for teeth to fit in the mouth. Crowded back teeth can harm neighboring teeth.

Braces can be used by an Orthodontist to straighten crowded back teeth. Once the teeth are straight and the bite is right, teeth are in a position for lifelong health.