The Forward March of Time: How Your Teeth Shift as You Age
As the years go by, we all experience changes in our bodies. Our hair grays, our skin wrinkles, and even our teeth undergo transformations. It might not be as obvious as the first two, but if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that your teeth are also on a journey of their own. At Surf City Smiles Orthodontics, we’re here to shed light on how and why our teeth shift forward throughout our lives.

Understanding the Shift

Our teeth are not static; they constantly adapt to the forces applied to them, including the natural aging process. The shift forward of teeth is a common occurrence, and it has a name: mesial drift. This gradual movement is a result of various factors, including the pressure exerted by our lips, tongue, and cheeks, as well as the effects of wear and tear over time.
Mesial drift tends to be most noticeable in the front teeth. As we age, the wear on our molars and premolars can create space constraints for the anterior teeth, causing crowding and misalignment. This phenomenon isn’t merely cosmetic; it can also impact our bite and overall oral health.

The Role of Genetics

Research has shown that genetics play a significant role in how our teeth shift as we age. A study published in the “Journal of Dental Research” found that genetic factors contribute to tooth movement, with certain individuals being more prone to mesial drift than others. So, if you’ve noticed your teeth crowding over the years, it might be partly due to your genetic makeup.

The Forward March of Time: How Your Teeth Shift as You Age

Preventing and Correcting Shifts

While mesial drift is a natural process, there are steps you can take to slow it down and maintain a straighter smile. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential, as they allow your dentist to identify early signs of crowding and take preventative measures. Orthodontic treatments, such as braces or clear aligners, can also be highly effective in addressing misalignment issues and preventing further shifts.
Dr. Carlson at Surf City Smiles Orthodontics specializes in evaluating your unique dental needs. With a comprehensive assessment, we can determine if orthodontic treatment is right for you. Whether you’re a teenager looking for a straighter smile or an adult concerned about the effects of mesial drift, we’re here to provide personalized solutions that align with your goals.
In summary, the simple passage of time can impact our teeth, causing them to shift forward and become more crowded. But with the right care and guidance, you can maintain a beautiful, healthy smile. At Surf City Smiles Orthodontics, we’re committed to helping you achieve the confident, straight smile you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation, and let’s embark on the journey to a more confident, radiant you!
  • Smith, P., & Kieser, J. A. (1996). The aging of the human anterior dentition. Journal of Dental Research, 75(4), 802-806.
  • Johal, A., Katsaros, C., & Kuijpers-Jagtman, A. M. (2008). Mesial drift in the lower dentition: what is the evidence? A systematic review. Journal of Orthodontics, 35(3), 229-234.