Nothing is more frustrating than watching the smile you once loved shift out of line over time. If you used to wear braces but forgot to wear your retainer after treatment, you know what this feels like. Up to 50% of patients experience shifting teeth after their initial treatment. Orthodontic relapse is common, and it is natural to want your old smile back. Fortunately, many adult retreatment options are available to you at Sohn Orthodontics!
You Aren’t Alone
If you’re seeking retreatment as an adult, you’re not alone. In fact, one in every five orthodontic patients visiting Dr. Sohn is over 18! Fortunately, retreatment usually takes a lot less time than your first experience with braces. We also offer a wide range of treatment plans that make treatment much more discreet and practical than it used to be. Don’t worry — you’re in good hands.
What causes your teeth to shift after braces?
Most people don’t know that there are two halves to any successful orthodontic plan: active treatment and retention. Active treatment includes the duration of time you spend wearing your braces or clear aligners. Retention begins when active treatment ends.
The retention phase of orthodontics is just as important as active treatment. When your braces finally come off, your teeth may shift slightly without the appliance to hold them in place. This natural process is called orthodontic relapse, and at Sohn Orthodontics, we do our best to prevent it as much as possible.
Short-term relapse occurs shortly after your braces are removed. For patients whose teeth shift back to their original positions after less than a year, you’re going through a short-term relapse. You can prevent short-term relapse by wearing your retainer as directed by Dr. Sohn.
This type of orthodontic relapse happens long after you’ve finished treatment. If your teeth begin to appear crooked a year or more after treatment, you’re experiencing a long-term relapse.
Wearing your retainer is a huge part of avoiding orthodontic relapse! Whether removable or bonded, these appliances play a major factor in how straight your teeth remain once treatment brings them to a baseline. Without wearing your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist, your teeth will likely shift into their original positions over time.
Additional Reasons for Orthodontic Relapse
Unfortunately, even patients who followed their orthodontist’s instructions during the first round of braces could still experience a relapse. There are a few reasons this might happen:
Genetics & Aging: The older you get, the more likely your teeth will shift out of line. Genes also play a factor in tooth misalignment, even after treatment.
Bruxism: Grinding your teeth causes many health issues, from jaw pain to headaches. The continuous pressure on your teeth can also cause your teeth to shift even after your braces have straightened them out. Wearing a retainer usually helps prevent shifting due to tooth grinding, but if you notice misalignment, call Dr. Sohn.
Tooth Loss: Whether it’s due to an accident, decay, or periodontal disease, losing a tooth after treatment can cause your teeth to shift toward the space. Without proper treatment, you may find worse misalignment.
You’ve Got Treatment Options
Even though you may feel anxious about your shifting smile, our team in Bridgeville knows how to get your grin back in gear! If you’re dealing with long-term or major relapse, your best treatment method is the second round of braces or clear aligners. Don’t let that thought scare you! Because you’ve already had braces, you’ll enjoy a shorter treatment duration.
With modern technology at work, Sohn Orthodontics offers the most comfortable and discreet treatment options available, including:
Metal Braces: This treatment method is excellent for patients with moderate to severe orthodontic issues. With a system of brackets and wires, these braces straighten your teeth by applying constant, gentle pressure. They’re a durable and reliable option that ensures your treatment runs smoothly and effectively.
Clear Braces: Like metal braces, this treatment option uses a system of brackets and wires to straighten your teeth and is effective for patients with moderate to severe orthodontic issues. Instead of metal braces, clear braces use white ceramic brackets that match the color of your teeth, so your treatment is less visible.
Invisalign: Our clear aligner treatment is an excellent option for adult patients looking to straighten their smile without the bulky brackets and wires of braces. Using a series of clear plastic trays custom-made to fit your unique smile, clear aligners straighten your teeth with comfort and ease.
If you’re dealing with a short-term or minor relapse, a new retainer may be all you need to set your teeth straight again! With only slight movement, your teeth are usually close enough to straight that minor adjustments can fix the problem quickly.
If you’ve lost your retainer or if your old one no longer works, Dr. Sohn can custom-design a new retainer to shift your teeth in line. If your bottom teeth are the issue, we might recommend a fixed retainer.
Choose Sohn Orthodontics
Orthodontic relapse is no joke, but we want you to feel confident in the fact that we can help get your teeth back on track. Whether you are looking for metal braces, clear braces, or Invisalign, we’ve got you covered. Reach out to our Bridgeville office to schedule your free consultation today!