Many people are under the impression that teeth are stationary structures. They may think teeth can only move if their owner is undergoing orthodontic treatment. However, such ideas are false. Over time, teeth can shift on their own, leading to a misaligned bite and aesthetic problems. What causes this problem, and how can you prevent it? A dentist in Creve Coeur is here to provide some tips on how you can keep your pearly whites in their proper places.
Wear Your Retainer
After you complete orthodontic treatment, a retainer helps to prevent your teeth from drifting back into their original positions. Over time, the teeth become more stable in their new places, and you can wear your retainer less and less often— but you should never stop wearing it altogether. Even years or decades after the completion of an orthodontic treatment, you will likely have to wear your retainer for at least a few nights each week.
Watch Out for Teeth Grinding
It is estimated that 10 percent of adults and 15 percent of children grind their teeth. Not only can the constant pressure of grinding and clenching damage the tooth enamel, but it can also cause the teeth to shift out of place. If you frequently wake up with a sore jaw, or you sometimes catch yourself grinding your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. They will likely give you a custom mouthguard that will prevent nighttime grinding.
Don’t Skip Dental Visits
As you age, your jawbone may extend forward and become narrower. This natural shift in its shape can affect the positioning of your teeth. While you cannot prevent changes to your jaw’s structure, you can work with your dentist to keep your smile healthy. At your twice-yearly appointments, they will keep an eye out for shifting teeth and recommend appropriate treatment based on your circumstances.
Care for Your Gums
According to some estimates, about half of U.S. adults have some form of gum disease. Not only does this condition cause damage to the gums themselves, but it can also eat away at the bone that supports the teeth. As the bone becomes weaker, teeth may shift out of place. If you lose one or more teeth due to gum disease or other factors, the shifting can become even worse. Fortunately, regular dental visits and a thorough daily oral hygiene routine are able to prevent gum disease in most cases.
Do you suspect that your teeth are shifting? A visit to your dentist can help you determine the cause of the problem and prevent it from worsening.
About the Dentists
Drs. James and Jenna Feigenbaum are a father-daughter dental team who are proud to provide friendly, high-quality services to residents of Creve Coeur and the greater St. Louis area. Their training and experience equip them to diagnose and address a broad range of dental issues, including teeth shifting. To learn more about them and how they may be able to benefit your smile, contact our team at 314-567-1777.