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Prevent Shifting Teeth After Braces!

How long did you wear your braces? Maybe one or two years? Either way, that was a big commitment to straighten your teeth and you don’t want all of that effort to end up in vain. Therefore, how can you prevent shifting teeth after braces? Learn about what you need post braces and how we can help to realign your teeth if they have already shifted.

Teeth Move- Constantly

As our first teeth developed and even throughout adulthood, our mouth and jaw have been constantly moving 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 are like anchors on our teeth that move them in the correct direction. Unfortunately, our teeth will immediately want to begin moving back into their original position. Our tongue and lips are also putting constant pressure on our teeth as we speak. Remember- teeth will always follow the path of least resistance!

“Retain” with a Retainer!

WEAR YOUR RETAINER! This is the best way to maintain straight teeth and is very important. Depending on the doctor’s recommendation, you will need to wear a metal and plastic combo retainer or a clear aligner retainer. For the first 6 months, you will want to wear it 24 hours except during meals. After 6 months, 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.”

Permanent retainers are another option. As the name indicates, this is a non-removable retainer. Consisting of a sturdy metal wire, it is bonded to the back of your lower front teeth and/or the back of your top front teeth. Either way, you need an appliance that will retain your teeth’s position after braces.

When Teeth Have Already Moved

Maybe it is too late for you to use a retainer because your teeth have already shifted. At this point in your life you would rather not do braces again. In this case you may be an excellent candidate for clear aligners! Not only are they nearly invisible, but they are also removable for easy oral hygiene and eating. Often, only a few detailed corrections are needed with the help of clear aligners, and your teeth will be straight before you know it.

Oceanside Dental and Orthodontics

Please give us a call or come in to learn how you can have the perfect smile you have always dreamed of!