Ask An Expert: How Do I Fix My Crooked Smile?
Anna K. Fryxell
For those who've had braces, it's usually an experience best left in the past-we have enough awkward pictures and yearbooks if we ever feel nostalgic. But even after all of that effort, our teeth have a sneaky habit of moving around and messing up our smile. In response to our post, Are Your Teeth Moving?, we received a lot of questions concerning why this happens and what to do when it does. That's why we reached out to Beverly Hills, CA, cosmetic dentist Arthur Glosman, DDS, to find out.
Dr. Glosman says there are many factors that cause our teeth to move, “Teeth need to have teeth on either side to stay in place, so if they don't, they can move. Teeth can also move from excessive pressure from the tongue. For example, if you snore and have a large tongue, your lower teeth can collapse inward. Also, if you grind your teeth, then there's the potential for teeth to move or shift as well.”
One reader, Whitney, asks, I had braces when I was in high school and I am noticing my front lower teeth are starting to shift and crowd each other, will a new fitted retainer do the job to get them back in place or will I have to do braces again or Invisalign?
“Normally, when kids or adults get braces, they'll have to wear a retainer for the rest of their lives,” says Dr. Glosman. “Teeth have a little bit of memory in them, so they can begin to shift back into the crooked alignment that they used to be in [if you don't wear a retainer]."
If you need to straighten out your teeth again, but want to avoid the dreaded “brace face” in your adult years, Dr. Glosman recommends Invisalign or veneers. “With veneers, you can make them permanently white and give them a nicer shape. They also lock your teeth into place.” Veneers are a good option because they give you the artistic freedom to create the smile you want.
Another question comes from UMcane07, who asks, I recently had my remaining wisdom teeth extracted. How long will it take for my front teeth to move and adjust to the new space?
Dr. Glosman says that this is a myth. “Having wisdom teeth removed is not going to affect the alignment of your front teeth. It's really not going to make any type of difference, he says. “If you remove your wisdom teeth at an older age, your teeth aren't going to go back into the spaces that they used to be, so removing them will not bring them back to alignment.”
We hope these answers help! Keep sending us those questions on Facebook and Twitter, and we'll keep getting you expert advice.
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