Working With My Dentist
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Working With My Dentist

A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.

Working With My Dentist

Understanding Orthodontics and Loose Teeth

Siiri Puro

If your child has recently had braces placed on the teeth, then they may be concerned about several different things during the tooth straightening period. Feeling that the teeth are loose is one type of problem that your child may experience and communicate. If this is an issue for your son or daughter, then keep reading to understand the answer to a few common orthodontic and tooth loosening questions.

Why Do the Teeth Loosen?

Braces are obviously used to shift misaligned and crooked teeth into a more aesthetically pleasing position. While this is true, the teeth simply cannot be shifted more than a millimeter or two at time. When pressure is placed on the teeth, an entire movement process develops. The dental ligament first stretches and then direct pressure is placed on the jaw bone in the region where the tooth is pushed or pulled. The bone starts to degrade or break up. This opens up the socket and the tooth can move a bit more freely than it once did. 

The tooth will start to loosen as the dental ligament stretches. It will loosen even more when the bone breaks down. However, since all tooth movements are closely controlled and monitored, the teeth are not at risk of falling out of the mouth.

The teeth may seem fairly loose for up to about a week. However, once the bone starts to break down, new cells also form in the spaces that develop around the tooth. In other words, bone builds up opposite from where it is broken down. The process is called remodeling and it happens over time as the teeth are shifted around. 

Can Loose Teeth Fall Out?

As previously mentioned, remodeling is the process that allows the teeth to be shifted around. The teeth will not fall out. However, something called root resorption can occur. This is when the tooth roots break down and shorten significantly. In most cases, lengthy orthodontics can lead to this problem and this is often why dental straightening professionals like to schedule all movements within a two or three year timeframe. 

You should understand the root shortening does not directly affect the health of the teeth are their ability to stay in the mouth. So, even if the dental roots are shorter, they will remain tightly in the jaw. 

The only thing that can truly knock out a tooth during the orthodontic treatments is a hard hit to the jaw. Since teeth are already loose, less pressure may be needed to dislodge a tooth. This is one reason why it is so important to wear a mouthguard whenever you involve yourself in sports activities. For more information, contact a business such as Crest Hill Family Dental.