You, or your parents, have spent years and a lot of money to get your teeth into perfect alignment and now you see that they are shifting back to their former position. The big question on your mind is most likely: Can retainers fix a slight shift of teeth after braces? The simple answer to this question is yes. But, more than giving you a simple answer, it’s important for you to understand how the slight shift occurred and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.
MAINTAINING YOUR SMILE AFTER BRACES FAQ
Why do Teeth Shift after Braces?
It was the tension applied through your braces that forced your teeth to move into their straightened positions. When that pressure is removed, your gums and bone may try to return to their former misaligned conditions. To maintain the new structure of your teeth, you will need to use a retainer.
After your braces were removed, your orthodontist provided you with a retainer that you were to wear daily for a scheduled period of time. That schedule may have been for several hours every day as well as throughout the night. The retainer was meant to allow your gums and bone to adjust and support the new position of your teeth.
If you did not follow your orthodontist’s schedule or only wore your retainer sporadically, you provided your teeth with the opportunity to start shifting back to their previous condition. The shifting of your teeth does not happen fast, so it is possible that you will not notice the change until you see something in the mirror or you have problems when brushing and flossing.
A smile always makes you feel better because it helps to release chemicals into your brain that will affect your mood. If you are walking outside, then having someone smile at you also can make you happier. You might think that someone who never smiles is a grumpy person, but it is possible that the person feels self-conscious about having crooked teeth. However, everyone can have a gorgeous smile by visiting an orthodontist for individualized treatment. If you or your child has an unattractive smile, then it is time to have an examination to learn if braces or aligners are necessary to correct misaligned teeth.
Many consumers have not given enough thought to the importance of their smile, and they are happy with their semi-annual trips to the dentist. Really, there is a lot more out there for them to explore. We love this quote:
“You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” ~Martin Charnin
Thinking about this quote, you can envision those people in your workplace who always smile. They seem to have more confidence and appear happy most of the time. They may be putting on that smile for public consumption and on the inside feel very differently, but you want to get a bit of their confidence. You will do it however you can, everything from eating right to getting regular exercise. Another option is to perform a partnership with your local orthodontist.
When your child is dealing with crooked and misaligned teeth, it is important that you consider starting them on an orthodontic treatment plan as soon as possible. Early orthodontic treatment is essential for preventing long-term problems that involve the teeth and jaw. Severely misaligned teeth can pose a myriad of issues, not all of which are “socially-based.” Problems with chewing, speaking and brushing can all result from improper alignment and the overall failure to seek orthodontic care.
Who is the Best Candidate?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children above the age of seven begin orthodontic care. If your child is younger than seven, there is still a chance that they have some of their primary teeth. Once the primary teeth have fallen out and the adult teeth have erupted, the dentition can be straightened and improved using orthodontics. Generally, anyone who has even a slightly misaligned smile can benefit from good-quality orthodontic work. Only a licensed orthodontist will determine your child’s eligibility for early orthodontic treatment.
Along with misalignment problems, anyone who has a malocclusion (uneven bite) will benefit from regular orthodontic work. Crooked, crowded and misaligned teeth can negatively affect the way you bite. This could be the result of genetics, poor habits during babyhood, injuries that were sustained or even issues with the primary teeth themselves. Genetics play a huge role in how your child’s teeth will look when they grow their adult teeth. If you had to wear braces as a child or teenager, chances are good that your child will have to wear them, too.