Teeth shifting is exactly what it sounds like: it’s when your teeth move out of alignment and it can happen at any time of life. While our teeth move a certain amount throughout our lifespans, certain stressors can cause them to move more drastically than they otherwise might.
Orthodontic treatment is probably the most obvious cause of teeth shifting. Depending on how much realignment your teeth needed in the first place, if the orthodontic treatment you received was severe, it could have inflicted trauma on the teeth that might make it more likely for them to shift later in life. There’s a reason orthodontists always prescribe retainers to their patients after their treatment has ended, and they recommend the patient uses the retainer for the rest of their lives.
If you need orthodontic treatment and you don’t get it, that could also cause teeth shifting later in life, especially if your teeth are crooked and/or overcrowded. They’ll try to make space for themselves by shifting around the jaw, and no amount of brushing or flossing can prevent that from happening.
Acid erosion or certain types of injuries can erode the enamel on your teeth, which can affect your overall bite. The loss of that enamel causes your teeth to change shape, which can prompt them to move around. This is true any time there’s a change in the shape of your teeth for any reason – whether it’s enamel erosion, bruxism, or filling a cavity.
If you have a chronic disease, such as diabetes, and you don’t take extra precautions to take care of your teeth, you could be setting yourself up to experience some teeth shifting. We’ve mentioned before on this blog the importance of taking extra care of your teeth if you’re pregnant or if you have diabetes or cancer, and among the host of problems that come with not taking care of your teeth during these stressful times, is the potential for teeth shifting.
You Sleep on Your Stomach
It might sound odd, but sleeping on your stomach has been linked to a higher risk of teeth shifting, as has poor posture, especially if you have a tendency to rest your chin in your hand while sitting at your desk. So, if you want to keep those pearly whites in line, you’re better off sleeping on your back or on your side, and sitting up straight, in addition to maintaining a healthy oral hygiene regimen and staying away from acidic foods.
Even if your dentist assures you your teeth are perfectly healthy, you might still experience some teeth shifting if you have any of the conditions described above. Unfortunately, your dentist is not equipped to treat teeth shifting once it starts to happen, although they can probably recommend a good orthodontist for you to see. But if you want to avoid teeth shifting before it starts, your dentist can help you out by making a custom mouth guard for you to help keep those pearly whites in place. Most people wear their mouth guards at night, especially if they know they tend to grind their teeth in their sleep.
If you want to keep your teeth healthy and strong, you must take care of them. At Simply Smiles Dentistry, we can show you how to properly care for your teeth. You will have a great smile that lasts a lifetime.
Until next time…Keep on Smiling!