Can Retainers Fix a Slight Shift of Teeth after Braces?

by | Apr 25, 2017

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.


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.

How can you prevent a Shift of Teeth after Braces?

You might have thought that there was no more work to be done on your teeth after the braces were removed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because now you need to keep your teeth from shifting back to their original position.

To prevent a repositioning of your teeth after your braces come off, you need to wear a retainer. There are several types of retainers, including a plastic clear aligners that snugly fits against the walls of your teeth and it needs to be removed when you eat, play sports, and brush or floss. The most positive way to prevent your teeth from shifting is to continue wearing your retainer.

Your orthodontist will select the most effective retainer for your individual situation. You will be instructed on how to wear your retainer, when to wear it, and how to care for it. After your gums and bones have stabilized around your new teeth positions, the amount of time you need to wear a retainer may be reduced.

Why do teeth shift?

Throughout your lifetime, your body continues to change. This is also true for your gums and bones. Even if you never wore braces, it is a normal occurrence for your teeth to shift as you age. But, if you did wear braces when you were very young, your jawline may not have been fully developed and it may continue to develop over time.

After your braces were removed, you were given a retainer to wear to hold your teeth in their perfectly correct position. You were told about the value of a retainer and how it can continue to keep your teeth healthy and beautiful.

How to fix a slight shifting of teeth?

If you stopped wearing your retainer or did not follow your orthodontist’s wearing schedule, you may notice a slight shifting of your teeth back towards their original misaligned position. This shifting has been occurring for some time before you actually see the change. Don’t wait for your next appointment, see your orthodontist as soon as possible

Your orthodontist will examine your teeth and may need to take an x-ray to diagnose how much damage has been done. If the change in the position of your teeth is minor, a retainer may be used to correct your situation. Your old retainer may not fit comfortably over your altered teeth alignment. If this is the case, your orthodontist will make a new retainer to fit and correct your situation.

If you have waited too long before seeking corrective help, you may need to wear braces again for a short period of time. But, once your teeth have been straightened, you’ll be able to keep your teeth straight with a retainer.

Some people may only need to use a retainer every night, while others may only need to use it several nights a week. Your orthodontist will determine the amount of time you’ll be required to wear your retainer.

Orthodontist Treatment in Southington

The value of having straight teeth is more than beauty. Straight teeth support a healthy mouth and help to prevent other oral problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and bone erosion. With straight teeth, you’ll have a new sense of confidence when talking and smiling with friends and strangers. When your teeth are perfectly aligned, you’ll be able to chew without any discomfort or pain.

If your dentist determines that you need specialized orthodontic treatment to correct your teeth, getting braces in Southington is easy and convenient. Dr. Don Demas is one of most respected and trusted orthodontists in the Southington area. He and his team of professionals specialize in corrective, preventive, and cosmetic orthodontics.

For the convenience of his patients, Dr. Demas has office locations in Southington. You can call today to schedule an analysis and consultation, or you can use the contact and location page information on the website.

Team Demas Orthodontics

27 Meriden Ave #2a, Southington, CT 06489, USA

Phone: 860-276-0333

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