Have you noticed that your teeth seem to be moving all the time? This gradual and very slow movement leads to changes in the way your teeth come together and in the way they look when you smile. Because of that, you might hope that they will one day stop moving.
Unfortunately, your teeth will never stop shifting completely.
Your Lower Jaw Changes Over Time
One of the main reasons that your teeth shift over time is that your lower jaw changes shape throughout your life. The lower jaw changes shape in two ways. Firstly, it narrows over time. This narrowing of the lower jaw causes your lower teeth at the front of your mouth to crowd together and overlap. This affects the way you look and the way you eat.
Secondly, your lower jaw never stops growing forwards. Although the movement is minimal, the older you get, the more this movement begins to affect the way your upper and lower teeth come together. In extreme cases, lower jaw movement can cause the lower teeth to push against the upper teeth, gradually causing gaps to form between them. This movement won't ever stop.
Teeth Naturally Drift Forwards
Another phenomenon that causes teeth movement is mesial drift. This natural force pushes teeth forwards constantly. As a result, the teeth at the front of the mouth begin to crowd together. The older you get, the worse the crowding becomes. And because your lower jaw also narrows over time, the changes in your lower teeth are often more pronounced than those in the upper teeth.
Natural Forces Move Teeth
Eating and speaking, as well as activities like nail biting, also move teeth. Your teeth have some degree of flexibility because they are held in place by periodontal ligaments. These ligaments are flexible, like strong rubber bands, and allow your teeth to move slightly when under pressure. Because of this, your teeth can move throughout your lifetime.
Your Dentist Might Be Able to Help
Although you won't be able to stop the natural forces mentioned above from moving your teeth, you can correct the movement that has already occurred. You can do this through orthodontic treatment. However, you'll need to see your dentist first to determine which type of braces are suitable for you. In minor cases, Invisalign is suitable. For a severe case, you'll need traditional braces.
Your teeth will never stop moving. However, that doesn't mean that you can't correct the movement that has already occurred.