Did you know your teeth are always moving? You may not realize it, but the reason your teeth are positioned the way that they are is because of the minor pressure your lips and tongue are putting on them all the time. Ligaments are what secures your teeth to the bone. These ligaments can stretch and permit movement to allow your baby teeth to get loose and your teeth to shift when you have braces or a similar straightening procedure. But there are other factors causing your teeth to move that you do every day!
Did you know the average human swallows more than 2,000 times every day? Each time you swallow your tongue presses against the back of your front teeth, gently moving them slightly forward. Some people develop the habit of putting too much pressure on their teeth when they swallow. Overtime, this is continued pressure toward the back of your teeth can cause the front teeth to move forward.
Without even feeling it, your lips hold your teeth into your mouth by pressing them inward, while your tongue pushes them outward. Many people suck their bottom lip under their top front teeth. Biting your lip this way can put pressure behind your upper teeth and shift them forward. The middle ground between the two pressure forces is called the neutral position.
Labial Frenum (Frena)
This is the thin piece of tissue that sits above the middle of your two front teeth and connects your upper lip to your gum line. Some people are born with an abnormal frena, either in size or placement, that can actually pull your two front teeth apart. Those with this issue have the option of getting a frenectomy to cut away this issue.
If an adult loses a tooth and it is not promptly repaired, the teeth surrounding the missing tooth may begin to shift and move into the empty socket. Your teeth are uniquely aligned to strengthen your bite by sitting right next to one another. When one or more is missing, your tongue, lips, and surrounding teeth may change the way you bite and swallow.
For more information about how you can move your teeth for a straighter smile, come see us at Tendercare Dental! From Invisalign trays to traditional braces, you can achieve a straighter smile at any age! We have eight convenient locations around Portland to help you and your family achieve a healthy smile.