Have you ever experienced a greater sense of relief than the moment your braces were removed? If you have, you can imagine the shock a person goes through when they start to notice that their teeth have shifted after braces. After months or even years of wearing braces to straighten your smile, it can feel like your teeth are rebelling — it’s a mutiny of the mouth!
If this describes your situation, take a deep breath and relax. You’re likely a little stressed out about your predicament. After all, the process of wearing braces can be painful, expensive, and in some cases, awkward. You might feel like you wasted time trying to straighten your smile, but this isn’t true.
Teeth shifting after braces is relatively commonplace, and there are steps you can take to not only understand why this happens, but how to correct it before the problem becomes more pervasive. In this article, we’ll provide tips to help you protect your smile and explain how Impressions can help you strengthen your smile and regain your confidence!
Why Do Your Teeth Shift After Braces?
It can be difficult to pin down the exact reason why teeth shift after braces, but many cases can be attributed to the amount of wear and tear your teeth go through on a daily basis. Pressure is applied over the surface area of your teeth every time you chew, clench your teeth, sneeze, or smile. This pressure is applied day in and day out, and not always evenly, which can cause your teeth to shift in unpredictable ways.
Even if your teeth remained straight for years after you stopped wearing braces, your teeth can start to shift as you get older. Grinding your teeth in your sleep can also lead to shifting teeth. Of course, you can minimize the damage from teeth grinding with a mouthpiece, but you can’t mitigate all of the causes of shifting teeth; after all, your genes can also affect your smile. Your teeth are built to handle pressure, but when you apply too much, they’re going to seek some relief by shifting into a more comfortable (and arguably less sightly) position.
Tips for Preventing Your Teeth From Moving
Remember, your responsibility to your smile doesn’t end the moment your braces are removed. Getting through braces is a battle, but your lifelong smile is the war, and you’ll need reinforcements to truly conquer your smile. Therefore, it’s essential that individuals follow these three tips to prevent their teeth from shifting after braces:
Follow the Rules of Your Retainer
After your braces are removed, you’ll want to wear a retainer regularly to prevent your teeth from shifting. While your regular retainers are being prepared, you can wear molded plastic retainers to prevent any further shifting. Unless you’re eating or brushing your teeth, you’ll want to keep your retainer on at all times to ensure that your smile is ready for its next photo op.
Raise the Alarm When Teeth Start to Shift
There’s no reason to hesitate when you start to notice that something isn’t right with your smile. Your teeth have a mind of their own, not literally, but you never know how they will react after the braces come off. For instance, emerging wisdom teeth could shift your teeth closer together. If you didn’t follow the rules of your retainer, you could experience small shifts over time that cause it fit improperly. Removable retainers can warp, and permanent retainers need to be taken care of or shifting can occur. Regardless of the reason, it’s imperative that you dial up your dentist or orthodontist the moment you notice a problem.
Prove Your Commitment to Your Smile
Your smile is no greater than the sum of its parts, which means you have an obligation to all 32 of your teeth. That means brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes, flossing, and taking proactive measures to prevent tooth decay. Decay can affect the shape of your tooth, causing the other teeth around it to shift. You should aim to see your dental hygienist regularly during the six months following the removal of your braces to ensure that your smile is holding strong and your retainer is doing its job.
Can You Straighten Your Teeth With Your Retainer?
Understandably, when you notice your teeth shifting it can lead to a momentary panic. You might feel like you can “fix the damage” by using an old retainer. Let’s make this clear, a retainer’s ability to straighten your teeth is predicated on its fit. In other words, if teeth have shifted and you attempt to wear a poorly fitting retainer, you may end up damaging your teeth even more. Yikes. This is quite a predicament, but you still have options — a surefire solution to your orthodontic relapse that will help you leave lasting impressions every time you smile.
What Is Your Best Option If Your Teeth Have Shifted? Impressions!
Impressions is an at-home take on traditional Invisalign that can help move your teeth into alignment. It uses aligners that you change weekly and doesn’t require you to visit your dentist for fittings. Impressions treats overbite, underbite, crowding, and spacing. Here’s how it works:
- Stop by for a free appointment. We’ll use a digital scan to map your smile so your aligners are a perfect fit.
- Don’t worry about coming in again to pick them up. We’ll save you the hassle and ship them straight to your front door.
- Time to impress your friends and family with a dazzling smile!
Best of all, Impressions provides the comfortable, easy-to-use and virtually invisible advantages of Invisalign for nearly half the cost. Impressions even files with all insurance providers! If you’re ready to learn more, fill out our form to see if you are a candidate for Impressions or request an appointment and find out firsthand why people love Impressions!