Can Braces Make Teeth Worse?
If you’ve recently started wearing braces, you’re likely seeing a lot of changes already in your teeth and smile. But can braces make teeth worse?
As you begin treatment, you may notice an immediate improvement in your smile, especially if you have teeth removed to alleviate crowding. However, there are times when your teeth may look worse than when you started. As your teeth start shifting into their proper alignment, you may start to notice gaps that weren’t there before, or teeth that were nice and straight before now looking crooked or overlapping each other. What’s happening?
Don’t panic! This is a normal part of your treatment, especially since teeth can’t be straightened all at once.
Straightening teeth is a process
Wearing braces is a lot like cleaning the garage. When you start, the entire garage is messy. You probably need to move some things around to make room to work before you can really start tidying up. Soon enough, as you keep working, the entire garage is straightened up, everything is in its place, and the whole garage is neat and tidy.
So, while it may be a bit distressing to see gaps or crooked teeth during your treatment, especially during the first six months or so, it’s a sign your braces are doing their job! They are slowly making room for your teeth to move around so they become straight, strong and healthy.
The stages of orthodontic treatment
For many patients, it helps to understand the different stages they’ll experience during their orthodontic treatment.
The first phase focuses on straightening your teeth and reducing any crowding issues. This process can help uncover any skeletal issues that may need further treatment, such as jaw misalignments that weren’t noticeable before. Remember, these changes are perfectly normal and expected, and your orthodontist has a long-term plan to ensure your teeth and jaws are healthy and happy at the end of your treatment.
Once your teeth are straight, your orthodontist will “level the arches” and correct any bite issues you may have. Depending on your situation, your orthodontist will repair any vertical or horizontal issues within your mouth so your upper and lower arches match up and fit well together. If you have an open bite, the goal will be to deepen the bite, so the upper teeth overlap the lower ones. If you have a deep bite, the goal will be to open the bite and make your lower teeth more visible.
Finally, your orthodontist will address any overbite or underbite issues you may have. This last phase is typically where your orthodontist will use rubber bands or other dental appliances to correct any lingering bite issues. This is also usually when most patients start asking, “When are my braces coming off?” However, it’s important not to get frustrated and trust in the process, so you achieve the dream smile you deserve.
Want to find out more? We’re here to help. If you are ready to take the next step on your journey to a perfect, healthy smile, contact Milnor Orthodontics today.
At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 484-3214 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.