How can I keep my teeth straight after braces?

Did you know that your teeth can shift after your braces are removed? Our Sydney River 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?

Braces straighten your teeth by guiding them into their proper positions. When your treatment period is completed and your braces are removed, you can finally enjoy your straight teeth. However, because the barrier created by the braces is no longer present, your teeth may begin to shift out of place.

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

Wisdom Teeth Emerging

Though most people have their wisdom teeth extracted during their adolescence, anyone who wears braces prior to the eruption of their wisdom teeth should keep an eye out for them so they can be extracted if and when they begin to crowd other teeth.

Tooth Loss

When a tooth is lost due to injury, decay, or any other reason, the teeth around it begin to compensate and move to fill the gap. A dental implant or partial denture will be recommended by a dentist to prevent 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 bone can result from severe periodontal disease.

Teeth Clenching or Grinding

Also known as bruxism, this condition 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 there are preventative measures you can take, even though the aforementioned situations pose real threats to your straighter smile. Making use of the following advice will help the braces you invested in to straighten your teeth last as long as possible.

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.

Fixed or removable retainers are available. If your retainer is removable, it is your responsibility to wear it as directed (which will most likely be all the time at first, except when eating, brushing, or flossing). After a while, your dentist may advise you to wear your retainer only at night.

Maintain Excellent Oral Health

Whatever your age or stage of orthodontic treatment, one constant is that maintaining an excellent oral hygiene routine will go a long way toward promoting oral health and preventing tooth decay, which can eat away at your teeth and damage their shape.

If you have decay, the rest of your teeth may shift to compensate. To help keep your teeth healthy, brush and floss thoroughly and on a regular basis.

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 to 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 dentist 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.

Maybe you haven't worn your retainer enough and it's broken or no longer fits properly. Make sure the wire stays in place if your retainer is permanent and that none of the bonds between your teeth have come loose, as this could lead to misalignment. To ensure that your teeth don't move any further, your dentist can fix or replace your retainer.

Another reason teeth move is because 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 Sydney River dentists today for insights and advice.

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