Change is a part of life.
Everything changes with time. At this time of year, bursts of vibrant fall colors are a visual reminder that change happens. Change can be predictable, like the annual transformation of leaves from green to glorious golds, reds and oranges. In some instances, change can be so gradual that it’s nearly imperceptible.
We can expect changes in our bodies, too. Let’s talk about the changes that happen with our teeth.
Teeth are set in bone, not stone.
There’s no question that bone is a hard substance. But unlike stone, bone is living tissue. It is in a constant state of change. Bone cells are broken down and rebuilt; this process is called “bone remodeling”. It takes stimulation to keep the process moving. For bone in the jaws, it comes from biting, chewing, swallowing and speaking. Just as these actions place force on the teeth, the force, in turn, stimulates bone remodeling, which is why teeth can move.
It is this remodeling process that makes orthodontic treatment possible. Appliances like braces and aligners are tools the orthodontist uses to place controlled forces on teeth in order to move them into ideal positions.
Without an expert like an orthodontist guiding the direction and amount of pressure applied to teeth, they are free to move where the forces take them. As a result, your bite – the way your upper and lower teeth come together – may be off.
Have you noticed a change in your bite?
Maybe your bottom front teeth are just beginning to crowd? Perhaps a permanent tooth was lost and its former neighbors are on the move? Maybe you previously had some orthodontic treatment but you’ve noticed some shifting in your teeth? Whatever the cause, a visit with an AAO orthodontist is recommended. An AAO Orthodontist has received highly specialized training and education in correcting changing bites. Of course, the sooner, the better. If you notice shifts in tooth positions, timely intervention by your orthodontist may minimize movement.
So this year, when it comes to your teeth, let the fall colors be your reminder that change doesn’t have to be inevitable. A healthy and beautiful smile really can last a lifetime. Just ask your AAO orthodontist.
When you choose an AAO orthodontist for orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a highly skilled specialist. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – properly aligned teeth and jaws – and possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Locate AAO orthodontists through Find an Orthodontist at aaoinfo.org.