Prevent Shifting Teeth After Braces!
Braces are a significant undertaking! Maybe it was a two year commitment for you. Some people even have their braces on for years! Either way, you want all of that effort to pay off with straight teeth. Therefore, how can you prevent shifting teeth after braces? Learn about the necessary appliance we will provide you post braces and how we can help to realign your teeth if they have already shifted.
Teeth Move- Constantly
Every day since we got our first set of teeth and until now, our teeth are constantly moving. As we grow up and even throughout adulthood, our mouth and jaw are morphing along with the rest of our body. This definitely affects the teeth- forward, backward, to the right or left, and oven rotating- creating changes in our smile, bite, speech, ect.
“Don’t braces prevent this?” you may ask. Braces prevent teeth from moving in a way they shouldn’t only while the braces are on your teeth. Once removed though, your teeth will eventually start returning to their original location. Pressure from our tongue and lips as we speak is also a huge factor in where our teeth will naturally move. Remember- teeth will always follow the path of least resistance!
“Retain” with a Retainer!
The best way to maintain straight teeth post braces? WEAR YOUR RETAINER! This cannot be stressed enough. Often, we will recommend wearing your retainer, whether a clear aligner or a metal and plastic combo, everyday for the first 6 months, After this, you need to wear it every single night when you sleep. As you can read on the CDA’s website, “With forces applied daily from chewing, swallowing, etc., teeth will naturally move over time and people should be aware that in order to keep teeth in the same place indefinitely and prevent future shifting or relapse, regular use of a retainer may be necessary.”
There is also the option of a permanent retainer. This consists of a sturdy metal wire being bonded to the back of your lower front teeth and/or the back of your top front teeth, to prevent movement. Either way, you need consistent resistance to movement of teeth.
When Teeth Have Already Moved
Perhaps you know your teeth are crooked again but you really don’t want braces again. To add to this, your retainer no longer fits. This is usually a perfect opportunity to get our clear aligners. They are removable for when you eat and drink anything except water. This also make brushing and flossing far easier than when wearing braces. Additionally, they are nearly invisible so you can smile without the look of metal on your teeth- YAY! Often, only a few detailed corrections are needed with the help of clear aligners, and your teeth will once again be straight.
North County Dental Specialty and Orthodontics
Please give us a call or come in to learn how you can have the perfect smile you have always dreamed of!