crooked front teeth

Crooked Front Teeth | How Do Teeth Move?

How Do Crooked Front Teeth Move?

Are you curious about how teeth move? In the quick video (link above), Dr. Jen explains how teeth move (no scientific jargon here) so that you can understand what is happening as your teeth get straight.  Feel free to read below if you’d rather not watch the video.


We are going to talk about how teeth actually move. I’m not going to get super scientific on you here, we’re not going to talk about cytokines and all of that stuff, but i do think it’s important to understand the basics of how teeth move.

Many people with crooked front teeth are curious about how the process of tooth movement actually works.  Let’s take you through it step-by-step:

If you pretend your finger is a tooth, for the sake of argument. Now, if we want a tooth that is crooked to be straight, we are going to push on it. A tooth must have pressure on it for most hours of the day, around 22, for the tooth to respond in this way.

Your tooth has a crown (that’s the part above the gums) and then the root (the part in the bone), and it’s surrounded by gums gum tissue (pink). What happens is when we push on the top part of the tooth (the crown), the root of the tooth will put pressure on the bone because your tooth is one solid hard structure.

If i’m pushing on the top that means the top is going one way and the bottom is going the opposite way. Wherever there is pressure on bone the bone, it melts away or dissolves. There are cells that come there make the bone soft and take the bone away and then the root of the tooth will move into that new space. Then, on the other side, different cells come and they build the bone back up to make sure that it’s nice and solid and thick.

Tooth movement is a process of bone resorbing or melting away on one side of the tooth and new bone being deposited or formed on the other side of the tooth. When we stop moving that tooth, all the bone gets nice and firm and solid all the way around the tooth.

It’s crazy, you can move a tooth with a finger on your tooth for 22 hours a day (that’s how thumb suckers do it), you can move a tooth with plastic, or you can move a tooth with metal. Any combination of those things will work because all that actually matters is that pressure is being put on that tooth and consistent pressure will cause bone to change which allows teeth to move.

I hope that’s something that maybe you didn’t know already thanks for tuning in and i’ll see you next time.

Learn more about Orthodontics from some of our other articles!

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