After spending money, time, and energy on braces (regardless of whether you get Invisalign or go the traditional metal route), you may believe that you’re all done and will have straight teeth for the rest of your life.
The unfortunate reality is that this is not the case. Although you’ve undergone orthodontic treatment, your teeth still have a chance of shifting back into their original positions. In fact, this will likely happen if you don’t wear your retainers. Once you complete orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will provide you with retainers and ask you to wear them.
At first, you may be required to wear your retainers all the time: in the morning, during the day, at night, and while you’re sleeping. While your retainers may feel a bit strange at first, you’ll eventually get used to them, just like you got used to your braces after some time. After several months, your orthodontist may say that you only have to wear your retainers at night while you’re sleeping.
If you think you’ll lose your retainers or do not think you’ll be able to commit to wearing them as prescribed by your orthodontist, permanent retainers may be an option. These will be secured into your mouth so you won’t be able to take them out. This is the ideal way to go if you’d like to keep your straight teeth for as long as possible yet are worried removable retainers won’t work for your lifestyle.
The natural process of aging can also cause your teeth to shift and take away from the beauty of your smile. You may face bone loss or missing teeth that can lead to teeth shifting and make you feel self-conscious about your smile. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and resolve tooth shifting so you don’t have to just accept the fact that your teeth have shifted and live life feeling insecure.
How to Keep Your Teeth From Shifting
In addition to wearing your retainer, there are other things you can do to keep your teeth from shifting. We recommend the following tips:
Keeping an Eye on Your Teeth
Of course, you know your teeth better than anyone else. If you happen to notice a difference in your teeth or see a change, consult a dentist as soon as possible. The faster you treat any issue you have, the easier it’ll be to return to your healthy, beautiful smile.
Taking Great Care of Your Teeth
It’s your job to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. You should thoroughly brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Also, it’s important to see your Richmond, Virginia dentist every six months or so for routine exams and professional cleanings.
Avoiding Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Teeth grinding and clenching is known as bruxism. If you become stressed and find yourself grinding your top or bottom teeth or clenching them tightly together, try to your best to stop as this act can cause your teeth to shift. This is because it makes your gum tissue less secure makes it easier for your teeth to move.
Paying Attention to Wisdom Teeth
If you had your braces before your wisdom teeth got removed, pay close attention to them as having them extracted can threaten other teeth. It’s a good idea to let your oral surgeon know that you had braces before the procedure.
Wearing a Mouthguard
Wearing a mouthguard is a good idea if you suffer from bruxism or play high contact sports. Make sure you get a custom-fitted mouthguard instead of an over-the-counter that may not fit properly in your unique mouth.
Treating Gum Disease Quickly
If you find out you have gum disease, make sure you seek treatment immediately. The longer you wait, the more time you give your teeth to shift. Our Wake Forest orthodontist friend Dr. Jason Gladwell always mentions the importance of addressing gum disease very early. You do not want to have to address this with scaling and root planing later in life.
Schedule an Appointment at RVOrthodontics
If you are concerned by teeth that have moved and looking for a solution, don’t hesitate to contact RVOrthodontics to make an appointment today. We look forward to hearing from you!