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What Causes Teeth to Shift Even After Having Braces?

Many people are thrilled the day they finally get their braces off and can see the results of their orthodontic treatment. They enjoy their beautiful new smile and improved confidence. But then a few years later, something happens. They notice that things look different—their teeth have started to shift and aren’t quite as aligned as they used to be. What’s going on?

The number one reason why teeth shift back to their original position after braces is the absence of a retainer. The truth is, retainers are an important part of your overall orthodontic plan, and they’re the only way to stop your teeth from drifting back to their old arrangement. Without consistent use of a retainer, you are making your teeth vulnerable to shifting due to the following issues. 

Grinding

Grinding is a common problem and many people aren’t even aware they’re doing it. This can have a huge impact on your teeth, wearing away your enamel, shortening your teeth, and exerting pressure that moves your teeth out of position. 

Missing teeth

If you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth will naturally start to migrate to fill in the empty space, which can throw your tooth alignment completely out of whack. If you have a gap in your mouth, it’s important to seek dental intervention right away, whether it’s in the form of a tooth implant or a bridge. In the short term, wearing a retainer on a nightly basis will help keep things in place. 

Periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is a serious condition where your gums deteriorate to the point that it affects the bones connected to your teeth. At this stage of periodontal disease, it’s very easy for the teeth to start moving around or to fall out completely since they’ve lost their supporting structure. 

Aging and genetics

Simple aging and genetic factors will also cause your teeth to move back into their original positions. The bones in your face never stop growing and can have an impact on the shape of your jaw, which can cause your bottom row of teeth to shift around. 

Protecting your smile

The best way to preserve your smile after having braces is to be diligent about wearing your retainer. If you miss a few days or if it starts to feel tight and uncomfortable, please make an appointment to see us right away.

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