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What Causes the Teeth to Shift?

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slightly crooked teethAfter spending a few extra minutes in the mirror this morning, you discover an uncomfortable truth: your teeth have shifted. You’re starting to notice crowding that definitely wasn’t there before. This can happen to people even if they had braces as a child, but the question most have in this situation is simply, “Why?” Today, an orthodontist in Powell reveals what can cause your teeth to shift, how it can be reversed, and what you can do to ensure your smile stays in place as the years go by.

What Makes Teeth Shift?

Your teeth will naturally move throughout your life, but certain factors can lead to them becoming misaligned in adulthood, including:

  • Mesial Drift: This is a process where the teeth slowly shift towards the front of the mouth as someone ages.
  • Changes in Tooth Shape: A decrease in the enamel of one tooth, caused by decay, an injury, or unconscious grinding, can open up just enough space along the gum line that it allows a neighboring tooth to move.
  • Unconscious Habits: If your teeth are under pressure for long stretches of time (like if you hold a pen in your mouth at work or regularly rest your head against your hands), this can gradually move them.
  • Missing Teeth: The remaining teeth will naturally start to move into the open space as bone and tissue density in the area decreases.

Ways to Fix Teeth Shifting

When it comes to moving your teeth back into place, you should always consult a certified orthodontist. They can use braces, Invisalign, or a multitude of other orthodontic appliances to gradually bring your teeth back into place. The type of treatment that is best for you and how long it will take all depends on your degree of misalignment. While a trip to the orthodontist might not have been on your calendar, this is by far the most effective and safest way to straighten your teeth. And, if you think ignoring the shifting is the easiest solution, that will only allow it to become worse as time goes by!

How to Prevent Teeth From Shifting

Two of the best things you can do is practice consistent brushing and flossing and get regular dental checkups and cleanings. This will largely prevent the loss of enamel or entire teeth that can allow space for shifting. It’s also imperative to have any problems like cavities, broken teeth, or missing teeth addressed right away before they affect the stability of the smile.

For many people, shifting teeth are just a fact of life, but by taking great care of them at home and partnering with an orthodontist, you can ensure you’ll have a straight, beautiful smile for many decades to come.

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is an award-winning orthodontist and Elite Invisalign Provider. At his practice, he helps patients of all ages fix common problems like crooked teeth and misaligned bites using his years of experience and the latest technology. If you think you might need Invisalign or braces in Powell, he’s definitely the person to talk to, and you’re invited to schedule a FREE consultation by clicking here.