Orthodontic treatment is something many of us go through as a teenager, and many expect our smile to stay that way after treatment. However, in some cases, we may need to consider orthodontic treatment again later in life.
Here are the top reasons why patients may require orthodontic treatment for a second time around.
Not Wearing Your Retainers as Recommended
The most common cause of shifting teeth after braces is not wearing your retainers for the recommended amount of time following orthodontic treatment. When you first have your braces removed or finish your aligner treatment, your orthodontist will give strict rules for how to wear and care for your removable plastic retainers to maintain your new smile. If you chose not to follow their advice, the chances are that your teeth will shift. The natural progression of teeth causes them to move back towards their original positions, causing your teeth to slowly become crooked again over time.
How To Avoid Shifting Teeth
The best way to avoid your teeth from shifting back to their original positions before braces is to continue to wear your retainers for as long as it is comfortable to do so. Generally, after the first year, you will be able to reduce your retainer wear down to only a few nights a week.
Having your orthodontist install a small, permanent wire retainer on the inside of your front teeth is an excellent way to avoid having to remember to wear your removable retainer. Bonded retainers will generally ensure that the teeth stay straight over the long term, but they do require regular maintenance. Permanent retainers should not be considered as a 100% guarantee for eternal, perfect tooth alignment.
Going through orthodontic treatment before having your wisdom teeth extracted can create an issue with shifting teeth. If your mouth does not have enough room for your wisdom teeth to comfortably erupt into position, they may have an impact on the alignment of the other teeth in your mouth.
How To Avoid Impacted Wisdom Teeth
When you start to feel the ache of your wisdom teeth beginning to erupt, it is always best to schedule an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist for an x-ray. From there, we will be able to assess how these troublesome teeth might affect your newly straightened smile.
Not every patient will need to have their wisdom teeth removed, so it is best to consult with your orthodontist early on to avoid any ill effects as they grow.
Developing Bad Habits
Bad oral habits that can have an adverse effect on your smile. Bruxism, or chronic grinding of your teeth can force pressure on your alignment. Clenching or grinding can put stress on your teeth and gums, causing them to shift into different positions.
How To Avoid Teeth Grinding
To help break these habits, an orthodontist or dentist can provide you with oral devices that help to keep your teeth in place while avoiding any damage Bruxism may cause.
Accidents, Trauma, and Tooth Loss
Losing a tooth in an accident or as a result of tooth decay, infection, cracks, or gum disease might not seem like a big deal, but having a gap in your tooth alignment will result in the surrounding teeth moving into the empty space. Experiencing trauma to your front teeth can also have a significant impact on the look of your smile.
Correcting Tooth Loss or Trauma
A dental professional can advise you on the best thing to do for your particular circumstances if you do experience any form of tooth trauma or tooth loss. Typically, treatment will consist of replacing the damaged tooth with a dental implant or a permanent space maintainer.
How Will I know If I Need Orthodontic Treatment for the Second Time?
Having orthodontics for the second time is really up to you if the decision is solely based on the way your teeth look when you smile. However, if your issues are less with the aesthetic look of your teeth and more related to pain, discomfort, or uneven tooth wear, then additional orthodontic treatment might be your best option.
Schedule a consultation appointment with Thomas Orthodontics if you are considering orthodontic treatment for the second time. Together we will decide the best course of treatment for a healthy, lasting smile.