When you’ve completed your orthodontic treatment, it’s likely that you loved the way your teeth looked. A lot of people dream of the day they first got their braces off so many years ago, wishing their teeth still looked that way. Even if your teeth remain perfectly straight and you always wear your retainer, they change over time. Wear and tear alone can have a dramatic impact on the appearance of your teeth over the years.
Common Dental Changes That Occur As We Age
The most common change is the shifting of our teeth over time. This is particularly prevalent in those who received orthodontic treatments. Without the use of a retainer, the changes made by both clear aligners and braces can shift back out of position. Losing teeth and restoring damaged teeth will both require the use of a new retainer to ensure the desired shape is kept. Those who underwent orthodontic treatment will be wearing retainers every night for the rest of their lives.
- Front Teeth Gap – The gap between your front teeth will begin to change as you age as well. This space is clinically known as diastema, and it develops for a variety of reasons. It can occur because of crowding teeth or because of improper swallowing. This latter occurs when you press your tongue to your teeth when swallowing, rather than the roof of your mouth. Inflammation from gum disease can also cause this gap to form.
- Bottom Teeth Crowding – Our jaws change shape and size as we age. This can cause the bones to become less dense and shrink overall. This leads to your teeth pressing together, which can shift them out of place. Tongue thrusting, reverse swallowing, mouth breathing, and facial trauma can also contribute.
- Wrong Bite – If you experience back pain, get headaches, grind your teeth, or have jaw joints that pop and click, you might have bite problems. Known as a bite disorder, this condition is the result of malocclusion, also known as bad bite. This occurs when your jaws don’t quite fit together properly.
While these changes are in every way normal, there are things that can be done to address them. Orthodontic treatment is becoming increasingly popular among patients of every age. In 2018 alone, nearly 2 million adults opted for orthodontic treatment in the United States. That’s nearly 25% of all adults. This just goes to make it clear that, regardless of age, everyone wants a smile they can be proud of.
The orthodontic process doesn’t change for us much as we age. While adult bone is denser than the jawbone in children, the procedure can still be a success. It often just takes somewhat longer to see the desired results.
Contact Your Dental Care Provider To Lean More
Your dentist will ensure you get further guidance on how to address your orthodontic concerns. Don’t be afraid to contact them and talk about your options. You may find that you’re already on the way to getting your smile back to the one you love and remember!