How to Fix Shifted Teeth
Are you unhappy with your teeth? Have they shifted out of place?
You are not alone – one-third of all adults in the United States are unhappy with their smile, according to a study conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). There is a good reason to be self-conscious about the way your teeth look, as your smile is often the first thing people notice about you. Your shifted teeth can ruin your smile, which can influence how others perceive you in social situations and professional settings; it can also affect the outcome of a potential love interest.
Shifting teeth can also be aggravating if you have already worn braces or have undergone other teeth straightening procedures.
Why do teeth keep shifting?
Generally speaking, your teeth can shift for a variety of reasons – a missing tooth allows your teeth to move, for example, and gum disease makes your teeth less secure because it allows your gums to pull away from your teeth. Teeth grinding, cavities, normal wear and tear, and even genetics play a role in shifting teeth. In fact, your teeth can shift throughout your entire life. In a process known as mesial drift, your teeth move slowly towards the front of your mouth.
Specifically, though, teeth shift due to forces put upon them. When a light force is applied in a given direction against a tooth, the tooth will move. The bone holding the tooth will remodel itself, breaking down ahead of the tooth and rebuilding behind it, to support the tooth in its new position.
Shifting teeth may also be the result of not wearing a retainer after straightening teeth with braces or other orthodontic appliances.
What Options Do You Have for Fixing Shifted Teeth?
Fortunately, there are a number of options for fixing shifted teeth. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, but all are effective for keeping teeth in place.
The brackets and wires of traditional braces have been the mainstay for straightening teeth for decades. The brackets hold onto teeth while the wire pulls the teeth in the desired direction. Traditional braces can help fix complex cases of shifted teeth.
The drawbacks to traditional braces are the unattractive and sometimes uncomfortable metal brackets and wires, and frequent trips to the orthodontist for tightening of the wires. Installing the traditional braces can be a long and tedious process as well.
Invisalign works like braces, but without the unattractive metal brackets and wires. Your dentist uses a computer to take images of your teeth and to develop a plan for straightening them. Your dentist then sends the digital images to a lab, which makes a series of clear plastic trays that you slip over your teeth. You will receive the trays in the mail, one about every two weeks. Simply wear the Invisalign trays for the predetermined amount of time and throw it away when the next set of tray arrives in the mail.
Invisalign is nearly invisible, comfortable and convenient. The smooth plastic aligners do not cut into the sensitive tissues of your mouth as traditional braces do. Aside from being nearly invisible, one of the best benefits of Invisalign to fix shifted teeth is that there are no food or drink restrictions as there are with traditional braces – simply remove your Invisalign before you eat or drink. Caring for your teeth with Invisalign is easier too: remove the tray, brush and floss as normal, and put your Invisalign back into your mouth.
On the downside, the results depend largely on how well you comply with the instructions – because Invisalign can be removed, people sometimes forget to put the aligner tray back in after brushing or eating.
Getting Invisalign is easier than getting braces – simply visit Williams and Daily to develop a teeth straightening plan and wear the Invisalign trays as directed. Schedule a consultation today to fix your shifted teeth.
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.