If you are one of the many who has had Invisalign or braces or are thinking of having one of these treatments done, you’re likely hoping that this investment will help your teeth stay straight for the long term. However, you may be surprised to learn that many patients experience teeth shifting after completing treatment. In this blog, we will share some of the reasons why your teeth could be shifting after treatment, how to maintain your new smile, and the importance of consistent retainer usage.
Why your Teeth Could Be Shifting
Whether your treatment lasted for several months or several years, starting to see your teeth shift is never a good feeling. Many of the causes of shifting can be prevented. Check out some of the most common reasons for shifting below:
- Teeth Grinding– Or also known as Bruxism, is a very destructive habit that can cause damage to your teeth and cause them to shift. Talk to your orthodontist on ways to prevent this, like using a nightguard.
- Tooth Loss– If you lose or extract a tooth after treatment, other teeth will have more space to move around. See your orthodontist or dentist to learn how you can take preventative measures against this.
- Aging– As you get older, your lower jaw grows forward and becomes more narrow which can cause your teeth to shift and become overcrowded over time slowly.
- Damage – Be sure not to purposefully cause any damage to your teeth after treatment. Avoid using your teeth as a bottle opener, chewing ice, and biting your nails.
- Inconsistent Retainer Usage – Inconsistent retainer wear is the most common reason why we see our patient’s teeth shift after braces treatment. After treatment is complete, we recommend wearing your retainer every night while sleeping. We offer several different retainer options to ensure that our patients keep their perfect smiles as long as possible.
Why are Retainers so Important?
Retainers are the best way to maintain your smile! Your teeth are surrounded by tiny ligaments which attach to the jaw in your bone. When the braces or Invisalign rearrange your teeth and move them, it stretches these threads as well, similar to a rubber band. Without retainers, your ligaments eventually pull back to their former position with the help of your cheeks and tongue. So, do not let your hard work and time spent wearing braces go to waste! Make sure you are wearing your retainers for as long as your orthodontist recommends. If you feel as though your teeth continue to shift even though you are wearing your retainer religiously, check with your orthodontist to have your retainer adjusted. Remember to brush and floss daily and limit the soda and sugar intake—schedule regular exams with your dentist and orthodontist.