Teeth move over time as a result of a number of factors, including the changing shape of your jaw.
Although you may not notice it, your teeth are constantly shifting. Even if you have been through orthodontic treatment, your teeth will continue to move over time. This movement is caused by several factors, including the fact that your jaw changes shape as you age; actions like eating and speaking, which exert pressure on the teeth; and certain oral health issues like gum disease. Read on to find out more about what causes teeth to shift and what you can do to retain the results of your orthodontic treatment in the long term…
Why do teeth move after orthodontic treatment?
After you have had orthodontic treatment, such as braces or clear aligners, your teeth will have moved into better positions, and you will enjoy a straighter smile. It is important to know, however, that once your treatment is complete and your orthodontic appliances have been removed, your teeth may begin to move back into their original positions. This is completely normal, and the extent of movement that you experience will depend on many factors.
The extent to which your teeth shift after orthodontic treatment will depend on the condition of your gums and jawbone. Bone loss, which can occur as a result of gum disease, can lead to tooth movement as it becomes more difficult for the teeth to stay in place after your braces have been removed.
Why else do teeth shift?
Other factors that contribute to the movement of teeth include the pressures of actions like talking, smiling, sneezing and coughing. All of these movements place some degree of pressure on the teeth and can lead to small and gradual changes in alignment.
The changing shape of the jawbone over time is another factor that can cause the teeth to shift as you age; while gum disease can lead to shifting and even loose teeth as the gums weaken.
If you grind your teeth, you may be at risk of shifting teeth. The habit places pressure on the teeth, causing them to move gradually, and also wears away at the enamel over time.
How can you reduce movement?
If you have been through orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist is likely to recommend that you wear a retainer after your braces have been removed. If you have a removable retainer, you must adhere to your orthodontist’s instructions as to when to wear it.
Another option for minimising the movement of the teeth following orthodontic treatment is to have a permanent retainer fitted. This type of retainer helps to maintain the alignment of the teeth in the long term.
If you grind your teeth, it is a good idea to speak to your dentist or orthodontist about the issue. You may find it helpful to wear a mouth guard at night to minimise damage to the teeth and reduce the movement of your teeth.
One of the best ways to minimise the movement of your teeth and to keep your gums in good condition is to practise good oral hygiene. This includes brushing and flossing regularly and seeing your dentist for regular dental check-ups.
How can we help?
At South Yarra Orthodontics, we offer a range of orthodontic solutions, as well as ongoing support after your treatment is complete. If you are interested in having a retainer fitted after the removal of your braces, we are happy to guide you through the process and address any questions or concerns that you might have.
If you would like to come in and see us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to arrange an appointment. We look forward to helping you achieve and maintain a straighter, healthier smile.
We offer a wide range of advanced orthodontic services, including surgical orthodontic treatment, early treatment, metal and ceramic braces, and lingual braces. If you would like to find out more about the treatments that we offer, please have a look here.