Often we tend to ignore many oral health issues until they become overwhelming and lead to other general health concerns. Teeth shifting is one such issue you should pay attention to in time before it does more damage to your oral health. Although it is an established fact that your mouth is the gateway to your health, very often hoards of harmful bacteria originate in the mouth, and in the absence of proper oral care, they end up as disease-causing organisms. With very little effort you can prevent occurrences like teeth-shifting pain and jaw-shifting.
Guard your oral health with diligence, for in the prevention of teeth shifting lies the foundation of a radiant smile and a healthy journey throughout life.
What causes teeth shifting?
There is constant pressure on your teeth from movement of the facial muscles, jaw, and tongue while eating, talking, sneezing, or smiling. While these are minor stress factors, they do cause teeth shifting over time. Apart from this, throughout your lifetime, your lower jaw keeps growing forward. Consequently, the lower front teeth tend to bump into your upper front teeth, and leads to either crowding or spacing out.
Similarly, tooth gaps and crowding get worse with time and many dentists advise retainers as a lasting solution to overcome this problem. Other causes of teeth shifting include tooth wear and grinding, tooth loss and certain dental procedures, bone loss and periodontal diseases, and aging.
Symptoms of teeth shifting
Among the preliminary signs that your teeth are shifting is the lower jaw getting narrow causing the lower teeth to overlap and get crowded. Other than this you may also notice certain changes in your pattern of biting causing bottom and top teeth to come together. But, eventually, the adjusted pressure adds up with time leading to gaps in the upper teeth. At times, you may also notice gum bleeding which is another indication of teeth shifting though gum bleeding can be caused due to various other reasons.
Teeth grinding is also among other causes of teeth shifting. Teeth grinding can cause teeth misalignment and trigger weakness of the support system for your teeth. Similarly, weak tooth enamel can also cause teeth shifting and loss of tooth enamel can happen from acid erosion caused by the food that you consume. Tooth decay and any recent accident that you suffered can also impact the tooth alignment compromising the tooth support system and leading to teeth shifting.
While teeth shifting is completely normal, it can alter your appearance and impact your oral health and general health.
Preventing Teeth Shifting
The good news is that you can prevent teeth shifting and there are a few ways to do that. Retainers rank at the top when you are looking to prevent teeth shifting and generally come after your braces are off. This device helps in keeping your teeth properly aligned for several years. When you choose to wear a retainer do remember to follow the recommendations from your dentist.
Retainers are custom-made and fitted over your teeth. After the braces are removed, retainers help in keeping your teeth in the right position. What you need to know is that though braces have helped you with straighter teeth, they are still not wholly firm in the new position. The muscles, gums, and bones need to adjust to change to achieve the desired firmness. Routine needs like grinding, chewing, etc apply force on the teeth causing them to move. Teeth shifting can also trigger malocclusion when the lower and upper teeth do not align with the mouth when the mouth is closed.
The braces helped you to keep the teeth straight for a considerable time. But, when the braces are off, the teeth lack support and can go back to the position before getting the braces fixed. This cannot be allowed to happen after you have gone through several weeks of visiting your dentist’s office to get the braces and then removing them. A retainer is your best option to ensure that your teeth stay straight for several years after the braces have been removed.
Who can fit the retainers?
You can see any professional dentist or orthodontist to get the retainers fitted. However, you should know that orthodontists are specially trained in correct alignment of teeth. Your dentist/orthodontist will also advise you about two types of retainers, i.e., fixed and removable retainers. Many dental professionals recommend a combination of both types so that your teeth stay aligned for several years. Both types of retainers can be fitted at the same time saving you precious time and money.
Retainers are worn for life
There can be no doubt that retainers are the best option to keep teeth shifting at bay. There are different forms and designs of retainers and wearing them throughout your life may sound annoying and unrealistic, though it is but a small price that you pay to ensure that beautiful smile always.
Other measures to keep teeth shifting away
You can also benefit by following the measures below to ensure that you can always present a beautiful smile without the worry of teeth shifting.
Maintain top oral hygiene
Our elders have always advocated the importance of oral hygiene when we were children. The importance of regular flossing and brushing holds good even for adults and elders and is not limited to children. This practice followed from early childhood helps you in ensuring that food particles trapped between your teeth are cleaned every day at least twice so that the bacteria do not deteriorate your gums and bones triggering teeth shifting and other oral health issues.
Schedule regular visits to your dentist
Most people have a quarterly or bi-annual visit to their dentist for small procedures like teeth cleaning or other minor issues. This routine visit should be taken seriously since it provides your dentist the opportunity to examine your oral health in detail and advise preventive measures if he/she notices a problem. At Dr. Savita Choudhary we are always at your service to ensure that your oral health is at its optimal best at all times.