Do Teeth Move As You Age?

You would think that once our permanent teeth come in our teeth don’t move, right? Except, this isn’t true! Over time our teeth shift, whether we want them to or not.

If you had braces as a kid, you were probably asked to wear a retained nightly or had a permanent retainer put in place. This is because over time our teeth will shift and move right back to where they were originally. So, if you haven’t been wearing a retainer in a while and still have it at home, if you are able, I challenge you to try putting it back in. Most likely, it will feel very tight or may not fit at all and if this is the case, you will need a new one made.

More importantly, as we age due to a natural phenomenon that takes place our teeth tend to “crowd” towards the middle of our face in the front. Scientifically, this is called “mesial drift”. If you are in your 50’s, 60’s or 70’s and notice your lower teeth drifting together in the middle this is mesial drift taking place! Thankfully, dentists have developed devices that can help to straighten out the teeth, or keep the teeth from shifting further for adults in the later years like Invisalign aligners.

Additionally, our teeth can move if we lose a tooth or leave spaces in our teeth if a tooth is extracted. For example, if you lose a second molar tooth on the bottom right, the adjacent teeth surrounding that tooth will drift in its place to try and “fill the gap.” Over time, this can tend to cause problems while eating. If you have a space that’s small enough to trap food but not large enough for it to get out, it can cause decay or just cause irritation if food gets stuck. This is why it is so important to take care of open spaces in the teeth while you can! If you are experiencing anything like this we would love to have you as a new patient in our office so that we can come up with a solution for you!

Please Contact Us

Unfortunately over time we have learned our teeth can shift. If you think you may be dealing with crowded, or shifting teeth please give our office a call at (804-884-9906) or contact us online and we would love to bring you in for a new patient visit. We can further discuss treatment options and see if you may be a candidate for Invisalign in our office!

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