Learn How Braces Move Teeth
In order to understood how braces move teeth, it is important to understand why teeth are able to move at all.
Teeth are essentially held in place by what is known as the periodontal ligament. This ligament is what connects the roots of each tooth to the surrounding jawbone. The fibrous tissue within the ligament that holds teeth in place is resilient yet malleable. This allows teeth to easily move when pressure is applied.
How Teeth Become Crooked
Genetics and the early loss of baby teeth are two of the main factors that cause teeth to move into incorrect positions. Thumb sucking and using a pacifier longer than intended may also adversely affect the proper position of adult teeth as they come in.
Due to the flexibility of the periodontal ligament, teeth that were once straight can often move out of place. This movement can take place at any time and is often progressive well into adulthood.
Imposing light and continuous pressure on teeth through the application of brackets, wires, and elastics, braces can effectively move teeth into their correct position over a period. Clear aligners, when used in conjunction with tooth-colored attachments, can also effectively apply pressure forces to move teeth.
Constant pressure, along with the guided adjustments of the best Temecula orthodontist at Burke & Redford Orthodontists, will work in tandem to produce a beautifully straight smile by the end of treatment. Both Dr. Ryan Redford and Dr. Michael Burke are the most referred orthodontists in Riverside County. It should be emphasized that braces, aligners, and every other type of orthodontic appliance used by orthodontists are simply tools. The results that achieved in treatment are dependent upon the skill level of the doctor and staff. It is important to select the right practice for your treatment.
After braces treatment is completed, patients will receive either a permanent retainer or a custom-made appliance to wear each night.
Wearing retainers as instructed will ensure the ideal position of the teeth will be kept stable and secure without further movement.
How Do I Stop My Teeth from Shifting?
Following the completion of professional orthodontic treatment, there are some key steps that may be taken to prevent teeth from becoming uneven again.
- Consider having a permanent (“bonded”) retainer placed by the orthodontist when your teeth straightening treatment is complete. These are the most retentive type of retainers, but they must be cared for well. It is more common to use them on the bottom teeth versus the top.
- Removable retainers should be worn faithfully. This will keep the teeth in the same position hey were in when your braces were removed.
- Teeth require regular care throughout your life. Daily flossing and brushing should not be missed. Dental check-ups should be completed every six months or as recommended by the dentist. This will help keep decay away, which may influence the shifting of teeth. Regular retainer checks after active orthodontic treatment is completed are also important to make sure teeth are staying well aligned and the bite relationship remains stable.
- Even with the consistent wearing of retainers, some people unexpectedly begin to experience teeth or bite shifting. This is usually due to retainers that are not fitting as they should but can also be related to unfavorable jaw growth after treatment was completed.
If noticeable shifting is taking place, the patient should contact our office as soon as possible to avoid any further movement and for an adjustment, as needed.
Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke pride themselves on the excellent patient care they offer patients at their offices in Temecula and Lake Elsinore. If you have any questions or concerns regarding teeth shifting, please reach out to us at (951) 699-8011.
How Fast Do Teeth Move with Braces?
Due to the pressure placed on the teeth and underlying jaw bones by the braces, a process known as bone remodeling takes place. The bones, which hold the teeth, remodel, and allow teeth to shift into the proper place.
It can take a few days for this process to begin after braces are applied. Once this happens, the teeth and bones surrounding the teeth are in a constant transitional state as they shift.
How fast teeth move with braces is largely determined by an individual’s unique biology. In other words, some patients have teeth that move quickly while others have teeth that move more slowly. Application of light, gentle, and continuous pressure is best. Because patient comfort is a top priority to the doctors at Burke & Redford Orthodontists, optimized pressure is used gradually to move the teeth at a comfortable and steady pace. While we cannot predict before starting treatment whose teeth will move quickly or slowly, our top priority is to make treatment as efficient as possible for each patient.
Do Teeth Move as We Get Older?
The short answer is yes, teeth do move as people age. Many people experience a shifting of their teeth toward the front of their mouths. This can cause crowding and overlapping of teeth.
One of the best ways to prevent this age-related shifting of the teeth is to wear retainers as indicated by the orthodontist. This can keep teeth in their proper place and discourage natural movement over time.
If your teeth have become crooked, it is never too late to have them corrected by an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke. More and more adults of all ages are seeking out expert orthodontic care.
Why Do I Suddenly Have a Gap in My Teeth?
Gaps between the teeth are a relatively common occurrence. Also known as diastemas, spacing between the teeth is especially common in young children before their permanent canine teeth erupt. In some cases, these spaces persist even after all permanent teeth erupt into the mouth.
Below are some of the common causes of diastemas:
- Jaws that are large relative to the size of the teeth
- Overgrowth of tissue between the teeth
- Thumb sucking
- Gum disease
- Tongue thrusting
For most patients, diastemas are easily fixed with orthodontic treatment.
Will My Teeth Stop Shifting?
The only time teeth will be prevented from shifting is when retainers are faithfully worn every day or night, depending upon the direction of the orthodontist.
Patients that have abandoned use of their retainers will undoubtedly experience teeth shifting that may result in their teeth shifting unfavorably. Those lucky enough not experiencing movement of teeth without the use of retainers are the exception, not the rule.
Although distinct differences may not be observed immediately after consistent retainer wear is stopped, shifting of teeth will continue and eventually be noticeable. Therefore, consistent retainer wear is vital to maintaining a beautifully straight smile.
What Happens if Teeth Move Too Fast?
If teeth are moved too quickly or with excessive force, this can trigger an irreversible condition known as root resorption. This condition is marked by the roots of the teeth becoming shorter.
Some people are inherently more at risk for root resorption, even if teeth are moved at a safe rate and with optimal pressure. This is true for treatment with either braces or Invisalign. For this reason, it is critical that an experienced orthodontist monitor movement of teeth closely and take periodic x-rays to make sure the roots of teeth are staying safe throughout the course of treatment.
Some people mistakenly believe that makeshift braces can be made at home. Besides causing root resorption, this can also cause tooth loss, gum disease, gapping, and infection.
The best orthodontist experts like Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke are board-certified doctors who specialize in the proper correction of teeth in a healthy, comfortable way.
Attempts to self-correct teeth with “do-it-yourself” braces can be a dangerous undertaking we strongly advise avoiding.
Do Braces Change the Look of Your Face?
Yes, braces can change the look of your face. This is an exciting benefit of braces that most prospective patients do not realize is possible prior to having a consultation.
An appropriate orthodontic diagnosis and treatment plan will consider not only the alignment of teeth and bite relationship, but how the teeth affect facial balance and soft tissue esthetics. In fact, how the teeth affect the appearance of the face is usually the number one priority when planning out an orthodontic case in our practice.
If you would like to learn more about treatment options, we offer prospective patients a free, in-depth consultation with our doctors at our offices in Temecula and Lake Elsinore. Please do not hesitate to give Burke & Redford Orthodontists a call at (951) 699-8011 for any questions or to set up a no-obligation consultation.