The position of your teeth never stops shifting – incrementally, ever so slightly, over many years. Even after teeth straightening treatment, such as having a brace, this remains the case.
Why do teeth move?
There are several factors, including the changing shape of your jaw as you age, the natural pressure of eating and talking, and other possible health issues, such as gum disease or teeth grinding.
Do all people’s teeth move?
Yes, but to different degrees. There are those whose teeth and jaws retain their new shape without any perceptible movement after completing orthodontic treatment and those who experience more of a shift towards their natural position.
Should I get a retainer?
Wearing a retainer is the most effective way to keep your teeth aligned. A fixed retainer is permanently bonded to your teeth after orthodontic treatment and can hold the teeth and jaws in place over the long term. Your orthodontist might recommend a removable retainer, to wear only at night or for as many hours a day as you can. The best approach is to follow your orthodontist’s recommendations.
How important is oral hygiene?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is a must! Gum disease can result in bone loss, so preventing it is essential to maintaining the shape of your jaws and teeth. Good dental hygiene – thorough daily brushing and flossing, combined with the use of a good mouthwash and regular dental check-ups – is the best way to look after your gums.
Does my diet make a difference?
A low calcium diet can lead to weakened jaws and teeth. Vegetables such as kale, broccoli and spinach are high in calcium, as are dairy products such as milk and cheese. A healthy body is a healthy mouth.
What if I need further dental treatments?
After wearing a brace, your new shape needs looking after. If you have further treatment, such as tooth extraction, we recommend talking it through with your orthodontist to see what can be done to preserve the work that’s already been done. The best approach is to replace missing teeth with dental implants or a bridge that spans the missing tooth or teeth.
Avoid grinding your teeth
Around 8% of people grind their teeth, mostly in their sleep – a habit which puts pressure on the shape of the jaw, as well as directly damaging the teeth. If this is a habit you struggle with, talk with your dentist about treatment options. Mouthguards/retainers worn at night can be effective.
Ready to talk about a retainer or other dental/orthodontic treatment? Contact our Loughborough team today to explore your options!
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