Can Your Teeth Move

Your teeth are meant to stay in place, however, sometimes they can move out of alignment. This phenomenon is known as tooth movement and can occur for a number of reasons. In this article, we will explore what causes teeth to move and discuss the various treatments available to fix the problem. We will also look at how you can prevent tooth movement from happening in the first place.Yes, your teeth can move. This is usually the result of an orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics uses braces, retainers or aligners to help move teeth into a better position. This can help improve your bite, make it easier to clean your teeth, and help them look nicer too.

Incorrect Bite

The most common reason for teeth to move is an incorrect bite. When the teeth are not properly aligned in the mouth, it can cause tooth movement. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as tooth loss, impacted teeth, or jaw misalignment. In some cases, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to correct the bite and restore proper alignment.

Lack of Retention

In some cases, a patient’s teeth may move because they lack retention. Retention is the use of braces or other devices to hold the teeth in place until they have healed and settled into their new position. Without proper retention, the teeth can become loose and shift out of alignment.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can also contribute to tooth movement if it isn’t treated properly. When gum disease is present, it causes inflammation in the surrounding tissue which can affect the stability of the teeth and lead to shifting over time. It’s important to visit a dentist regularly for checkups so any oral health issues can be addressed before they lead to further problems.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene can also lead to tooth movement if plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on the teeth and gums. These substances weaken the enamel on the surface of the teeth which makes them more susceptible to shifting out of place over time. It’s important to brush and floss daily and visit a dentist regularly for cleanings in order to maintain good oral health and prevent tooth movement caused by poor hygiene practices.

Causes of Teeth Movement

The most common cause of teeth movement is poor oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene can lead to the build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, which can cause the gums to become inflamed and recede. When this happens, the roots of the teeth become exposed and can move around more easily. Other causes of teeth movement include genetics, injury, misalignment, and grinding or clenching of the jaw.

Poor dental alignment can also cause teeth to move around in the mouth. If there is a misalignment, it can cause too much pressure on one set of teeth and cause them to shift out of place. Injuries to the mouth are another common cause of teeth movement. Impact injuries such as falls or sports injuries can cause damage to the jawbone or enamel that results in teeth shifting out of place.

Grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep is another habit that can contribute to teeth movement over time. The pressure from these activities can wear down enamel and loosen the roots of your teeth, causing them to shift out of place. Genetics are also a factor in some cases; if an individual has a genetic predisposition towards certain dental issues, they may be more likely to have problems with their teeth shifting over time.

When Do Teeth Move?

Teeth can move at any point in life, but the most common time for teeth to move is during childhood and adolescence. During this time, the teeth are still developing and the jaw is growing. As the jaw grows and changes shape, the teeth shift to accommodate the new shape of the jaw. This process is known as orthodontic movement.

In some cases, adults may need to have their teeth straightened with orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment can be used to correct misaligned or crooked teeth, as well as treat bite problems such as overbite or underbite. In adults, it may take longer for teeth to move because the bones and tissues in an adult’s mouth have already hardened and are less pliable than those in a child’s mouth.

Orthodontic treatment is usually done using braces or aligners. Braces consist of metal brackets that are attached to the front of each tooth. The brackets are connected by a wire that is tightened regularly by an orthodontist in order to gradually move the teeth into their proper positions. Aligners are clear plastic trays that fit snugly over each tooth and need to be changed every two weeks until all of the teeth have been moved into their desired positions.

Regardless of age, it’s important to visit an orthodontist regularly so they can monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments throughout your treatment plan. Orthodontists can also answer any questions you may have about when your teeth will begin to move or how long it will take for them to reach their final position.

Overall, it’s important to remember that everyone’s mouth is unique and that no two people will have identical results when it comes to orthodontic movement.

Types of Tooth Movement

Teeth can move in a variety of ways, depending on the orthodontic treatment needed. Orthodontists can use different techniques and tools to help move teeth into their desired positions. These methods are known as tooth movement, and they can include: expansion, intrusion, extrusion, rotation, tipping, and bodily movement.


Expansion is used to increase the size of an arch by widening it. This type of tooth movement is often used in cases where the teeth are too crowded and need more space. Orthodontists use special expanders to gradually widen the arch while applying light pressure to the teeth over time.


Intrusion is used to move a tooth down into its socket. It’s commonly used when a tooth needs to be moved down from an incorrect position, such as from a trauma or excessive crowding. This type of tooth movement is usually done with orthodontic wires or brackets that are attached to the tooth and lightly pull it downward over time.


Extrusion is used to move a tooth up into its socket. This type of movement is often needed when a tooth has become impacted or is not erupting properly because of crowding or other issues. Orthodontists use brackets and arch wires that are attached to the teeth and slowly pull them up over time.


Rotation is used to turn a tooth so that it’s facing in the correct direction. This type of movement can be done with braces or other types of orthodontic appliances that are attached to the teeth and slowly rotate them until they reach their desired positions.


Tipping is used when there’s an imbalance between upper and lower teeth due to overcrowding or certain types of malocclusion (misalignment). It involves creating an archwire that applies light pressure on one side while releasing pressure on the other side so that the teeth can gradually tip into their desired positions over time.

Bodily Movement

Sliding movements (also known as bodily movements) involve sliding one part of a jawbone against another part in order to shift all teeth at once in one direction or another. This type of movement is typically done with braces or other types of appliances that attach onto each individual tooth in order to apply light pressure over time until they reach their desired positions.

Effects of Tooth Movement

The effects of tooth movement can vary greatly depending on the type of orthodontic treatment being received. In some cases, the tooth movement may be gentle and gradual, and in other cases it may be quite rapid. In either case, the teeth should move slowly and steadily over time in order to avoid any pain or discomfort.

One common side effect of tooth movement is gum tenderness. This generally occurs when the teeth are moving faster than normal. The gums may become red and sore during this time, and it is important to take extra care when brushing and flossing to avoid further irritation. Additionally, it is important to keep up with regular dental check-ups to ensure that any potential complications are caught early on.

Another possible effect of tooth movement is root resorption. This is when the tooth roots start to break down as a result of the pressure placed on them from braces or other orthodontic devices. Root resorption can lead to pain, sensitivity, and even loss of teeth if left untreated for too long.

In some cases, patients may experience minor TMJ discomfort as well due to changes in bite alignment caused by tooth movement. This discomfort may include headaches, jaw pain, or a clicking sound in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth. Orthodontists may recommend special appliances such as bite splints or night guards in order to alleviate these symptoms while also helping to protect teeth from further damage caused by grinding or clenching during sleep.

Finally, one should also be aware that tooth movement can also cause changes in facial structure over time as well due to changes in muscle tension around the mouth caused by shifting teeth positions. These changes can include a narrower face shape or facial asymmetry due to the muscles adjusting accordingly over time.

Overall, tooth movement can have a variety of effects depending on individual circumstances and treatment needs; however, with proper care and guidance from an experienced orthodontist, many of these issues can be avoided or treated successfully with minimal discomfort in most cases.

Prevention of Tooth Movement

Tooth movement is a common problem that can be caused by a number of different factors. It can be caused by genetics, trauma, or even poor oral hygiene habits. Fortunately, there are several steps that can be taken to help prevent tooth movement from occurring. Proper brushing and flossing techniques are essential for maintaining healthy gums and teeth. Brushing twice a day with an ADA-approved toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste helps remove plaque buildup, which can cause gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing daily helps remove plaque from between teeth, where brushing cannot reach.

In addition to proper oral hygiene, regular visits to the dentist are important for preventing tooth movement. During these visits, the dentist will examine the teeth and gums for signs of disease or decay, as well as check for any signs of loose or shifting teeth. If they find any issues, they can provide treatment to help prevent further problems from occurring.

Wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports is also important for helping to protect the teeth from trauma or injury that could cause them to shift out of place. It is also important to avoid grinding or clenching your teeth while sleeping as this can put extra pressure on the jaw joints and lead to misalignment in the bite.

Finally, it is important to maintain a balanced diet full of nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables that are low in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Eating foods high in sugar can contribute to cavities and other oral health problems that can cause tooth movement over time.

Taking these steps will help ensure healthy gums and teeth so you don’t have to worry about preventing tooth movement down the line.


Braces are the most common treatment for moving teeth. They are a system of metal brackets and wires that are designed to slowly and carefully move the teeth into a better position. Braces can be used to correct a variety of issues, including misaligned teeth, gaps in the teeth, overbites and underbites. The braces are adjusted periodically by an orthodontist to ensure that the teeth continue to move in the right direction. The treatment time for braces varies depending on the severity of misalignment, but it typically takes anywhere from one to three years for braces to do their job.


Invisalign is an alternative to traditional braces that uses removable clear aligners instead of metal brackets and wires. The aligners gradually shift the teeth into a better position over time without being as noticeable as braces. Invisalign is often used for milder cases of misalignment, such as small gaps or crooked front teeth. The aligners must be worn for at least 20-22 hours per day and changed out every two weeks until the desired results have been achieved. Treatment times vary depending on each individual case, but typically take between nine months and one year.


Retainers are devices that are used after braces or Invisalign treatments have been completed in order to keep the teeth in their new position. Retainers can be either removable or fixed depending on your orthodontist’s recommendation and what type of treatment you’ve had. Removable retainers must be worn every night while fixed retainers are cemented onto your back teeth so they don’t slip out of place. It’s important to wear your retainer as directed by your orthodontist in order to maintain your new smile.

Teeth Extractions

In some cases, it may be necessary for an orthodontist to extract one or more teeth in order to make room for other teeth to move into their proper place. Teeth extractions are typically only done when there isn’t enough space in the mouth for all of the teeth, such as when there is overcrowding or an overbite present. After a tooth has been extracted, braces or aligners can then be used to move the remaining teeth into their proper positions.


Yes, your teeth can move as you age. This is due to changes in the jawbone and the way teeth fit together as people grow older. Teeth can also be moved by orthodontic treatments such as braces or Invisalign. Orthodontic treatment is used to correct misaligned teeth and create a better overall bite. It is important to practice good dental hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, to help maintain healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, it is essential to visit your dentist regularly for routine cleanings and checkups. Doing so will help protect your oral health and reduce the risk of tooth movement.

Overall, it is important to remember that teeth can move throughout a person’s life due to changes in the jawbone or through orthodontic treatments. Therefore, it is essential to practice good oral hygiene habits and visit your dentist regularly in order to protect your oral health and reduce the risk of tooth movement or other issues associated with misaligned teeth.