After going through orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist took precautions to try to ensure your teeth don’t shift from their new, straightened state. More than likely, you were given a retainer and were told to wear it regularly for a certain period of time. Now, this seems like a fairly simple task to maintain, but hey, life happens. Sometimes retainers get lost or broken and you just can’t find the time right away to get a new one. Maybe you forget to wear it. Maybe your orthodontist put in a permanent retainer, and one day you’re eating something and it breaks. You don’t go in to get it replaced as soon as you should, and your teeth start shifting around again. It’s a fairly common scenario, but the outcome might mean you have to get braces again.
After Having Braces
Your teeth are more likely to shift in the few months following the completion of your treatment, so that is the most important time to wear your retainers. Braces adjust the alignment of your teeth, but just because your teeth were straightened does not mean they’re guaranteed to stay that way. There are ligaments that attach your teeth to your jawbone, and those take much longer to set and adjust than your teeth do. Regularly wearing your retainer will ensure these ligaments slowly shift into the correct position and don’t pull your teeth back to their original position.
Your own mouth could be your downfall in regards to messing up your alignment as well. If your wisdom teeth come in, they’re more likely to come in a little later in your life. It’s common for people to get their orthodontic treatment done while they’re younger, so wisdom teeth coming in can push your other teeth around. Wearing your retainer regularly can prevent this issue though, so if you’re doing what your orthodontist tells you to do (wearing your retainer), this shouldn’t be an issue.
Wearing your retainer is the best preventative for needing to re-align crooked teeth after already having braces once, but…life happens. If you do find yourself needing orthodontic treatment again, it may be easier than you think. Adult braces are super common and there are many different treatment options available that may not take as long or cost as much as your original braces.
If you notice your teeth have started shifting or your retainer doesn’t fit anymore, you should see your orthodontist as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more your teeth are going to shift, and the more your teeth shift, the longer it’s going to take to correct them. So it’s best to get out in front of the issue and tackle it as soon as possible.
Our team at Milnor Orthodontics is here to help! We would love to get you back on track to having a straight and beautiful smile.