It is an exciting day when your braces come off and you are rewarded with your wonderful smile! If you want to keep your new straight teeth and fantastic smile, you will need to support them or your teeth may shift back to their old positions. Do not undo all your hard work during your orthodontic treatments by not adhering to follow up maintenance of your straight teeth. One way to maintain your straight teeth is to make sure to wear a retainer, as long as it is recommended by your orthodontist.
The orthodontic treatment has forced your teeth to align straight, which is great for your smile, but your teeth are still used to the old positions and may begin to move back to their original place, if not prevented from doing so. Orthodontic relapse is more likely to happen if you have space for the teeth to shift around, especially if you have had wisdom teeth extracted or lost a tooth at some point.
How to make sure teeth don’t move back to their old positions
Once your orthodontic treatment is complete and your teeth are straightened, your orthodontist may prescribe a retainer. They will explain how long they expect you to wear it to make sure your teeth are firmly positioned and unlikely to shift back to their old positions. Retainers may be fixed or removable, and may be worn only at night or 24 hours a day. A retainer may only be needed for your upper or lower teeth, or possibly both. Make sure to be diligent about your oral hygiene to prevent any issues with tooth decay or gum disease when wearing a retainer.
What happens if my teeth shift?
If your teeth begin to move out of place, you should make an appointment with your orthodontist to discuss the next steps if a relapse occurs. The sooner you seek orthodontic treatment, the less time it will take to correct the issue. Some reasons your teeth may shift include the eruption of a wisdom tooth that may result in crowding, or a faulty or damaged retainer. All of these situations need the attention of an orthodontist.
Our expert Charleston County orthodontist and highly trained staff at Reese Orthodontics are eager to join you on the journey to a healthier and happier smile. To request your appointment with our friendly and knowledgeable orthodontist, Dr. Reese, please contact us.