You may have been born with straight teeth (or gotten braces in your teens) but your teeth are most likely moving. As we age, genetics, cavities and decay, grinding and tooth loss can all cause a less-than-straight smile. Surprisingly, these can all start to creep up in your 30s!
“More adults are embracing the idea of orthodontics because everyone wants beautiful straight teeth,” says Dr. Irwin Smigel, “which is now more attainable with options other than traditional metal braces.” So would you? Check out the results of our readers’ poll and read on to find out how to stop teeth from shifting.
What experts are saying: personal advice on shifting teeth
“Other reasons teeth shift can be clenching and grinding—nonfunctional forces (any pressure on your teeth other than chewing) can cause tooth wear and position change,” says Sarasota, FL, cosmetic dentist Jenifer Back, DMD.
“If your lower front teeth have started to shift, you will need some ‘active’ means, like a retainer, braces or Invisalign, to straighten them,” says Malibu, CA, cosmetic dentist Bob Perkins, DDS.
The bottom line:
Shifting of the teeth can begin as early as your late 20s, due to subtle tooth growth, which impact alignment. It’s natural for the teeth to gradually shift, even if you had braces as a teenager.
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