Teeth Straightening After BracesFebruary 21, 2023
If you’re like most people, braces were a time in your life you wanted to get through quickly. The only benefit was having straight teeth when it’s all said and done. Unfortunately, some people don’t realize that the teeth straightening process continues after you take your braces out. Realignment can look different for each person, based on their situation.
Teeth Straightening After Braces
We all grow and change; that’s true for our teeth. So how much can your teeth shift? Why does this happen? What should I look for, and what are my teeth straightening options? Thankfully we’ll be answering these questions and more below.
Can Your Teeth Move After Braces?
Yes, a lot can change after your initial orthodontic treatment. These changes can sometimes require a new orthodontic treatment plan to have a straighter smile. Teeth movement can happen regardless of whether you have had invisible braces, lingual braces, ceramic braces, or traditional metal braces.
Teeth Straightening After Braces Treatment
After braces, there are several options for teeth straightening and maintaining the alignment of your teeth:
- Removable Retainers: These are custom-made devices that fit over your teeth and can be taken out for cleaning or eating. In the beginning, you’ll wear them full-time and gradually reduce the wear time over several months until you only wear them at night. Your orthodontist will give you specific instructions on how long to wear them.
- Permanent Retainers: These are small wires bonded to the back of your teeth to help keep them in place. Permanent retainers are often recommended for lower front teeth, which are more prone to shifting after orthodontic treatment. In addition, they can be difficult to clean and may require more frequent dental visits for maintenance.
- Invisalign: Invisalign treatment is a series of custom-made, clear plastic aligners to gradually move your teeth into the desired position. Invisalign can be a good option for people who want a more discreet option than traditional braces.
- Dental Aligners: Similar to Invisalign, dental aligners are custom-made, clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth and gradually move them into the desired position. They can be an effective option for minor alignment issues.
In extreme cases where teeth shifting is severe, another round of braces may be necessary. A new round of braces would involve removing existing retainers and brackets and starting the orthodontic treatment process over again.
It’s important to work closely with your orthodontist to determine the best post-brace treatment plan for your individual needs to maintain your beautiful new smile.
Teeth Moved After Braces, Will Retainer Fix It?
If it’s been more than a month since you stopped wearing your retainer, there’s a good chance it will not fit your teeth anymore. Teeth naturally shift over time, especially if nothing keeps them in their new position.
If your teeth have shifted significantly, your old retainer may be unable to realign them effectively. In this case, it’s best to contact an orthodontist for options. They may suggest another round of braces or a new treatment plan with removable plastic retainers to incrementally shift the teeth back to where they need to be.
It’s important to note that using an old retainer to realign teeth may cause further damage and delay proper treatment. Therefore, it’s best to seek the advice of a professional to ensure that the realignment process is safe and effective.
Do I Need To Wear My Retainer Forever?
If you want to maintain your new smile, then yes! It’s recommended that you wear your retainers as directed by your orthodontist. Your orthodontist will likely instruct you to wear them full-time for a certain period after treatment and gradually reduce the wear time over several months until you only wear them at night.
After that, some people may be able to stop wearing their retainers altogether, while others may need to continue wearing them nightly or occasionally to maintain the results of their orthodontic treatment, avoiding ever having crooked teeth or crowded teeth again.
Why Teeth Move After Braces
Braces use tension to realign your teeth. When the braces are removed, so is the tension. The ligaments within your mouth slowly regain muscle memory, remembering where each tooth used to be—causing your teeth to revert slowly. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of your oral health, and we don’t just mean brushing & flossing. But using your retainer as directed, actively following your aligner treatment plan, and properly abiding by treatment times.
Teeth Straightening to Realign Your Teeth & Shine
Your smile is a big deal, and we’re here to help answer any questions and provide you with an orthodontic treatment plan that’s best for you. Whether you’ve never had braces before or you’re looking to realign your teeth again, we can help. Several options are available for maintaining the alignment of your teeth after braces, including removable and permanent retainers, Invisalign, dental aligners, and, in extreme cases, another round of braces. It may seem difficult to start a new treatment plan. Still, by doing so, you can enjoy the long-term benefits of your orthodontic treatment and ensure a healthy and attractive smile for years to come.
Orthodontic Arts, your number one Orthodontist in OKC. Our Certified Orthodontist provides the latest and greatest Orthodontic practices to our clients in the OKC and Midtown area. Orthodontic Arts is the best place for child and teen orthodontics as well as adult orthodontics. Be sure to ask about Invisalign and invisible braces! Contact us today at (405) 604-3745 or request an appointment.