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As we age, our bodies undergo various changes, and our dental health is no exception. Many patients at Walt Orthodontics express concerns about their teeth appearing to shift or become more crooked over time. This phenomenon raises the question: Do teeth really get crooked as you age? The answer, as supported by dental research and clinical observations, is yes. But why does this happen, and what can be done to prevent or manage it? This blog post explores the reasons behind the shifting of teeth in adulthood and offers our advice on maintaining a straight, healthy smile through the years.

The Natural Movement of Teeth

Teeth are not fixed in place; they can move throughout our lives due to various factors. One key reason is the natural growth and changes in our jaws as we age. This can lead to a phenomenon known as “late-onset crowding,” where teeth that were once straight begin to overlap or shift. According to the American Dental Association, this is a common occurrence that can be influenced by genetics, loss of dental bone over time, or the natural wear of teeth. It can also happen due to jaw growth – everyone’s jaw grows a tiny bit every year (even past teenage years). When the lower jaw outpaces the upper jaw, it becomes trapped and the resulting effect is lower incisor crowding.

The Role of Wisdom Teeth

Another factor contributing to the shifting of teeth is the emergence of wisdom teeth. As these third molars grow, people used to believe that they can push against other teeth, causing movement and misalignment. This has proven to be false. People who do not wear retainers tend to experience relapse around the same time the wisdom teeth come in – but it is not BECAUSE of pressure from the wisdom teeth. The Mayo Clinic offers comprehensive insights into how wisdom teeth can affect your dental health.

Periodontal Disease and Tooth Movement

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a leading cause of tooth movement and loss in adults. This condition, which affects the gums and the bone that supports teeth, can lead to teeth becoming loose and shifting over time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides valuable information on the prevalence of gum disease and its impact on dental health.

Preventive Measures and Treatment Options

So, what can be done to prevent or manage the shifting of teeth as you age? First and foremost, maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups can help identify and manage factors contributing to tooth movement. If you already had treatment, if you wear your retainers you should be fine! However, for those already experiencing shifts or crowding, orthodontic treatments such as braces or clear aligners can correct alignment issues, with Invisalign being a popular option for adults seeking a more discreet solution.

At Walt Orthodontics, we understand the concerns and needs of our adult patients. Dr. Walt and our team are committed to providing personalized care tailored to address the unique challenges of adult orthodontics. Whether you’re considering orthodontic treatment for the first time or noticing changes in your dental alignment, we’re here to help you achieve and maintain a beautiful, healthy smile at any age.

Conclusion

Teeth can indeed become crooked as you age due to a variety of factors, from natural changes in the jaw to the impact of periodontal disease. However, with proper care and the right treatment approach, it’s possible to keep your smile straight and healthy throughout your life. If you’re concerned about shifting teeth or are interested in exploring orthodontic options, we invite you to contact Walt Orthodontics. Visit our Contact Us page to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can support your oral health journey.

In-Person Consultation

Use our handy online scheduler below to choose the date and time that works best for your initial complimentary consultation appointment!

Please note that while initial orthodontic consultations are complimentary, if you recently completed orthodontic treatment or currently are in active appliances with another provider, seeking a replacement/repair for a retainer, or looking to schedule a second consult after your initial one there is a fee for the consultation. Please contact us for more information.

Alternatively, please contact our office directly by phone/text if you are trying to book multiple consultations at the same time or are seeking consultation further out than 12 weeks.

Please note – If none of the available times on our online scheduler work for you we do have other consultation times available. Please contact us directly for more information.

Virtual Consultation

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When it comes to financing there’s no one size fits all solution. Likewise, there is no singular solution when it comes to financing. At LendCare, we get that and go deeper to understand your unique story and offer flexible options that work best for you, given your current financial situation. That means you get affordable financing, even if your credit is anything but top-tier.

Walt Orthodontics is pleased to offer interest-free payments up to 30 months. If you require payments over 30 months we are happy to offer the LendCare solution.

DR. WALT’S DECISION TO BECOME AN ORTHODONTIST WAS INSPIRED BY HIS OWN DIRECT PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

Dr. Walt received his dental (DDS) degree from the University of Western Ontario, graduating first in his class and receiving the Gold Medal as well as numerous awards recognizing his scholastic and clinical achievements, leadership and character. He then completed his orthodontic training at the University of Colorado, where he received both his Specialty Certificate and Master of Science Degree. During his residency, he was awarded the Rocky Mountain Orthodontics Scholarship for overall excellence.

After graduating from residency and opening Walt Orthodontics in 2013, Dr. Walt committed himself to applying his traditional orthodontic education into the digital world to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience. He currently serves as a Faculty Member, Key Opinion Leader, and Advisory Board Member for Align Technology which involves traveling around the world to teach other orthodontists about Invisalign. Being at the forefront of digital orthodontics, Dr. Walt was invited to be the first orthodontist in Canada to use custom LightForce braces. He also serves as an Orthodontic Coach/Mentor for other orthodontists looking to improve their knowledge of digital orthodontics.

In addition to practicing orthodontics, Dr. Walt is a “die-hard” Blue Jays fan and enjoys working out in his spare time.

DR. GROSSMAN STRIVES TO PROVIDE THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF ORTHODONTIC CARE FOR HER PATIENTS.

Dr. Stephanie Grossman pursued her dental degree in sunny South Florida at Nova Southeastern University. She graduated with honours, at the top of her class, and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honour Society. She then completed her orthodontic training at the University of Detroit Mercy, where she received both a Specialty Certificate in Orthodontics and a Master of Science degree. She is both a diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada.

Dr. Grossman strives to provide the highest standard of orthodontic care for her patients. She attends numerous hours of continuing education and utilizes the latest advancements in orthodontics. Dr. Grossman is licensed to practice in both the United States and Canada.

Outside of the clinic, Dr. Grossman enjoys spending time with her friends and family and traveling the world. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and loves trying new restaurants!