As you look in the mirror, you notice something…your perfect smile isn’t so perfect anymore. What happened? It may have been months or years since your braces have come off, but one thing remains the same…teeth shift. This means in failing to follow your orthodontist’s instructions post-treatment, you may need to undergo another round of braces. Although this isn’t ideal, it’s important to remember your options. Think you might need braces again? Let’s talk about some of the reasons why this may be true and what you can do about it.
Reasons for Needing Braces Again
Most likely, you were given very detailed instructions once your braces came off about proper retainer wear. These instructions would have included the importance of wearing your retainer for a period of time, specified by your orthodontist, for maximum effectiveness. Wearing your retainer helps to ensure your teeth don’t shift once braces have come off. Since our teeth have a tendency to shift at all points in life, if you didn’t wear your retainer properly after braces, chances are your teeth have shifted and you may need braces again.
Another reason for your teeth shifting is the eruption of wisdom teeth. Since many patients won’t see their wisdom teeth until their late teens (or even later), when they come through, they may push surrounding teeth aside to make room. If you’re not wearing your retainer when this occurs, your teeth could shift, meaning another round of orthodontic treatment is needed.
Your Treatment Options
The good news is that in many cases, treatment time is drastically shorter than it was during your initial bout with braces. If it’s decided your teeth have shifted and more orthodontic treatment is needed to correct them, there are options that will work with your lifestyle. These include:
- Another set of braces
- Invisalign Express
- Invisalign Lite
Most often, treatment will not be as intense as the first time, but be sure this time to listen to your orthodontist fully. They will tell you etainer wear post-treatment is imperative to ensure you don’t run into this problem again.
Don’t wait too long to address the need for additional treatment. The longer you wait, the more damage you can do, so acting fast can save you time and money later. If you notice your teeth aren’t quite as perfect anymore, speak with your orthodontist about your next steps. Don’t panic. Once you’re evaluated, your orthodontist will discuss your options and they can give you a timeline for treatment, so you can get back to flashing your perfect smile in no time.
Although there’s no way to go back in time and correct your mistakes, the key thing to remember is you can ensure these mistakes won’t happen again. If you need braces again, remember to wear your retainer after treatment to keep your smile in tip-top shape for life.