How can I keep my teeth straight after braces?

Posted in Orthodontics

Did you know that your teeth can shift after your braces are removed? Our Montreal dentists provide advice on what you should do after treatment to ensure your teeth remain straight – and that all your hard work pays off.

Can my teeth shift after braces?

Your teeth are guided into the proper positions by braces, which aid in teeth alignment. Enjoy your straight teeth when your treatment is finished and your braces are taken off. However, bear in mind that since the braces' protective barrier is no longer there, your teeth may start to move out of place.

While typically any shifting of teeth will not be noticeable, some circumstances may happen that require the attention of your orthodontist.

Wisdom Teeth Emerging

Although the majority of people have their wisdom teeth extracted when they are teenagers, anyone who has braces on before their wisdom teeth erupt should keep an eye out for them so they can be extracted if and when they start to crowd other teeth.

Tooth Loss

Whether a tooth is lost due to an accident, decay, or another reason, the teeth nearby may be affected as they start to make adjustments and move to fill the gap. A dentist will advise getting a dental implant or partial denture to stop this from happening.

Gum Disease

This chronic condition, also known as periodontal disease, affects the gums, teeth, and possibly even the jaw bone. The support that holds your tooth in place deteriorates along with your gum line. Even the loss of teeth and jaw bones can result from severe periodontal disease.

Teeth Clenching or Grinding

This condition, also known as bruxism, typically affects people who are under stress; they may clench or grind their teeth, which can result in gum recession.

Less gum tissue means the teeth will not be as secure as they were before, which can leave them more susceptible to movement.

How can I protect my teeth after braces?

The good news is that preventive measures can help, even though the situations mentioned above pose real threats to your straighter smile. Make the investment in your braces to straighten your teeth last by following thesse tips and tricks:

Wear Your Retainer as Prescribed

For most patients, wearing a retainer is part of life after braces. Wearing your retainer regularly as prescribed is the easiest way to keep your teeth from shifting after your braces come off.

Both fixed and removable retainers are available. You are responsible for wearing your retainer as directed if it is removable (which at first, will likely be all the time, except when eating, brushing or flossing). After some time, your orthodontist might advise you to reduce your retainer use to just at night.

Maintain Excellent Oral Health

No matter what age you are or what stage of orthodontic treatment you are at, one constant is that maintaining an excellent oral hygiene routine will go a long way to promoting oral health and preventing tooth decay, which can eat away at your teeth and damage their shape.

If decay occurs, the rest of your teeth may shift around it. You can decrease your risk of tooth decay by brushing and flossing thoroughly and regularly and attending regular dental checkups to help keep your teeth healthy.

We advise visiting your dentist frequently for the first six months after getting your braces off and then every nine months after that to help ensure your teeth are where they should be and give your dentist a chance to check your retainer and make any necessary adjustments.

Take Action If Your Teeth Shift

If you notice your teeth are shifting, it’s important to take action right away by contacting your orthodontist for an appointment.

The shift may be occurring for a number of reasons, even if you are sticking to your treatment plan and wearing your retainer as you should.

Perhaps you haven't worn your retainer enough, causing it to become damaged or lose its proper fit. If your retainer is permanent, make sure the wire remains in position and that none of the bonds between your teeth have come loose, as this could lead to misalignment. To prevent further tooth movement, your orthodontist can fix or replace your retainer.

Another reason teeth move is that wisdom teeth are emerging, which can cause all your teeth to shift to make room for them. If this is the case, the wisdom teeth will need to be extracted.

Do you have questions or concerns about life after braces? Contact our Montreal orthodontists today for insights and advice.

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