Can Braces Correct Midline Shift? - Carvalho & Roth Orthodontics
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Can Braces Correct Midline Shift?

November 19, 2021

A beautiful smile always makes a huge difference! Everyone loves to see and have the perfect pearly whites. However, an obscure shift could happen with the alignment of the front of your tooth that may affect the appearance and natural setting of the teeth. This is called a midline shift and influences how you smile and bite and can further lead to severe complications down the line!

The problem with crooked teeth can make us self-conscious. Knowing how others perceive our dental health often influences how we eat or speak. If you’ve ever wondered how your smile could change, this interesting topic will explore all there is to know about Midline shift – basics like what causes it and potential treatments that work best. So without further ado, let’s explore the details together.

Closeup of a midline shift in teeth after braces

What is the Teeth Midline Shift?

A teeth midline shift occurs when the midline displays some asymmetry, which can be barely noticeable or quite obvious. The tooth’s dividing line determines how your bite functions and looks; therefore, any alteration of this alignment will affect the aesthetics and your dental health as well!

It’s typically the dividing line between the lower and upper central teeth. The teeth midline shift intersects the nose and the space between the eyebrows. 

If the appearance of your teeth midline shift is not a cosmetic concern to you, the physical effect can dramatically affect your dental health. It affects the jaw and leads to dental issues such as uneven wear that results from teeth grinding. 

Causes of Dental Midline Shift

Dental midline discrepancies may vary in individuals; below are some of the primary causes: 

  • Congenitally missing teeth
  • A bad habit (prolonged thumb-sucking)
  • Dental trauma
  • Early loss of baby teeth
  • Macrodontia (Oversized teeth)
  • Microdontia (Undersized teeth)
  • Jaw misalignments

Ways to Correct Teeth Midline Shift

Teeth midline shift has a common treatment, but you might have a different case that requires special care. There are many options available to correct common dental misalignment, and it’s all based on what works best for you:

Braces

Braces are a great way to correct midline dental problems and skeletal alignment. Brace treatment options include elastics or other specialized appliances and braces that can be more noticeable. The only downside is that most people prefer to use less visible treatments such as Invisalign. 

Invisalign

Invisalign is a preferred treatment option for correcting mild to moderate midline shifts in adults. Suppose crossbite or other bite issues are present. In that case, Invisalign can be paired with additional dental appliances that will improve the misalignment of your mouth and create an attractive grin. The advantage here lies mainly within its invisibility –plus, the aligner treatments don’t cause pain, so you’ll have no problems smiling at parties.

Hyrax expander

The hyrax expander is a device that can be used to help with midline shift. It’s attached on either side of the teeth to expand the upper jaw. Once it is placed, the expander holds the position while giving time for adjustment. This device can be worn for three-nine months, depending on the results desired. 

Extraction

A strategic tooth extraction will correct the midline shift. When space opens up in your mouth, and a tooth is extracted, other teeth move to fill its place. This may be used as part of an extensive treatment plan with braces or fixed partial dentures for better results! Your orthodontist might even recommend surgery if you are experiencing severe cases. 

How to Get the Best Result from a Treatment 

The first signs of improvement after teeth midline shift will be seen in your symmetry. You may need retainers, elastics, or other treatments to support the symmetry and alignment provided by the corrective treatment for this condition. Follow all instructions given by your orthodontist closely to avoid altering their prescribed plans on how best you can align those pearly whites!

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a midline?

Midline is the line between the two lower front teeth and two upper teeth essential in orthodontic treatment. The midlines of the lower and upper jaws should align with the middle of the face. 

What is a midline shift? 

A dental midline shift occurs when the midline shows some signs of asymmetry, i.e. when the line between the lower teeth does not align with the line between the lower upper teeth, which can either be obvious or barely noticeable. 

What Causes midline discrepancies?

Midline discrepancies can occur due to dental reasons and skeletal problems involving the maxilla and/or mandible malpositioning relative to the facial skeleton. Functionally the midline can shift due to occlusal interferences leading to deflection of the mandible.

Can Invisalign correct the midline shift?

Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional braces for correcting mild-to-moderate tooth misalignment in adults. Invisalign can be paired with additional dental appliances that will help fix your teeth’ position straight again!

Read our Blog: Bite Issues That Are Fixed With Orthodontic Treatment

What Can I Expect After Treatment?

The first step to a better smile is often an appointment with your orthodontist. The midline shift that occurs with orthodontic treatment should be less noticeable after your teeth have been aligned. 

After receiving orthodontic care (such as braces), patients will commonly encounter changes within their mouths; this translates into improved facial aesthetics.

Teeth midline shift can be treated easily with the proper guidance and follow-up treatment sessions. Depending on how severe your misalignment is, an orthodontist will help you find an option that suits you best!

Best Orthodontics Service Near Me 

If you don’t feel comfortable smiling or find yourself constantly hiding your mouth, it may be time for orthodontic treatment. At Carvalho & Roth Orthodontics in Marlborough, Newton Center, and Northborough, we take great pride in helping patients achieve the smile of their dreams with personalized care and attention to detail. 

We want our patients to enjoy life while they pursue healthy teeth and gums that will last a lifetime! Contact us today at one of our three orthodontic office locations for an initial consultation so we can get started on transforming your smile.