Ladera Ranch, CA – Have you noticed a shift in your bite? Does it seem like your smile is slightly off from where it used to be? While your teeth are securely attached in your jawbones, it is natural for our smiles to shift slightly over time. But what causes this, and if it is severe, how can it be helped?
Ladera Orthodontics explains some of the top reasons why your smile might change or shift and solutions for how to get it back on track.
- Just like the rest of the body, time can take its toll on your teeth. Years of biting down, grinding, and clenching can wreak havoc on your smile. If you are prone to stress or carry tension in your jaw, you may unknowingly be grinding your teeth at night. Wearing down the enamel of your teeth will make your bite feel different, and it can even lead to chipping, cracking, and/or breaking teeth.
- Teeth gradually shift as we age. Through a drifting process, our teeth slowly begin to shift inward and forward as we age. While this is normal it can seem worse if we’ve already undergone orthodontic treatment at some point. If you haven’t worn your retainer continuously your teeth will begin to shift. Some blame wisdom teeth for their crowded teeth but that’s definitely not the case. Even in the absence of wisdom teeth, your teeth will continually shift.
- If there’s loss of the outside layer of your teeth (enamel), the teeth may tend to shift. Losing enamel on your teeth changes their shape, which can cause misalignment. You can lose enamel due to an injury to a tooth, acid-erosion, or bruxism. It is important to work with your dentist to ensure your teeth are as strong and healthy as possible, especially before seeking out orthodontic treatment.
- Periodontal disease can cause teeth to shift. Gum disease is treatable but severe periodontal disease can cause the teeth to become loosened from their locations and shift or even cause tooth loss. Your dentist or periodontist can help you get your gum disease controlled prior to orthodontic treatment.
- Failing to take proper care of your oral health can also be a factor. Your oral health affects your whole body, and vice versa, so it is important to keep your mouth and body healthy to prevent serious issues.
Some shifting of your teeth is natural over time, but there are still some things you can do to prevent it. The best way is to take proper care of your smile. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss at least once a day, and visit your dentist every six months. Limit your intake of acidic foods and eat a healthy diet.
To correct shifting, it is important to see a certified orthodontist to determine the treatment that is right for you. Treatment can range from retainers, to braces, or clear aligners such as Spark or Invisalign. Your orthodontist will work with you to determine which treatment is the best to meet your concerns and will help you create a plan to keep shifting at bay as much as possible.
If you are interested in learning more about orthodontic options that may be available to you, call Ladera Orthodontics today at 949-272-8782.