The last thing you want is for your perfectly aligned teeth to move out of position after braces. But believe it or not, shifting can and does happen after your braces come off. In this case, knowing how to prevent teeth shifting can help preserve your bite and smile. In fact, taking preventative measures can save you time, money, and extra trips to your orthodontist at Lovett Dental Missouri City.
Why Do Teeth Shift After Braces?
It may be best to get tips on how to prevent teeth shifting before your braces are removed. Braces are an orthodontic treatment that straightens the teeth and corrects bite problems caused by teeth gaps, teeth shifting, and overcrowding. Popular types of braces are traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces, Fastbraces®, and clear plastic aligners. Needless to say, several factors can cause teeth to drift in different directions after your dental appliance comes off. Common causes include aging, jawbone growth, poor oral hygiene, periodontitis (gum disease), tooth loss, and teeth grinding or clenching. However, a top reason for tooth movement is not wearing the retainer your orthodontist prescribed.
How to Prevent Teeth Shifting Once Your Braces Come Off
Here are four great tips to keep your teeth in place after getting the braces removed:
#1: Wear Your Retainers Regularly
While braces are an effective treatment for teeth straightening, patients usually need to wear retainers to maintain the results. Retainers are clear plastic aligners that orthodontists usually prescribe for patients to begin wearing following braces removal. They are usually worn at night unless they are fixed retainers. Wearing them regularly will help keep your corrected bite and smile intact. As a matter of fact, it is the most reliable way to prevent your teeth from shifting or going back to their original positions. It is very important to remember this in light of the lifelong changes the jawbone goes through. These changes often result in tooth movement.
#2: Address Teeth Grinding or Clenching
Teeth grinding or clenching is a habit that affects your teeth over time. Many people do it during sleep or throughout the day as a response to stress. To protect your bite and smile, you should ask your orthodontist about getting a dental nightguard. A customized nightguard made from impressions of your teeth can provide protection against shifting.
#3: Take Care of Your Teeth
When it comes to tips on how to prevent teeth shifting, you can’t go wrong with daily brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups. Brushing and flossing help to remove trapped foods and prevent tartar buildup between the teeth and under the gumline. This regimen also helps to prevent gum diseases, tooth decay, jawbone loss, and, ultimately, tooth loss. At your regular dental checkups, your dentist will do a professional cleaning using tools designed to scrape off plaque (hardened tartar). You can also get fillings, a root canal, dentures, or dental implants if necessary.
#4: Take Action If You Notice Changes
Talk to your orthodontist promptly if you damage or lose your removable retainer or if you notice a change in your bite or your smile. Sometimes teeth shift when the retainer no longer fits as it should. In the case of fixed retainers, this can happen if the bond that holds it to the teeth come off.
Call Your Orthodontist at Lovett Dental Missouri City, TX
Learning how to prevent teeth shifting puts you in control. You will avoid having to return for remedial braces treatment. Your orthodontist at Lovett Dental Missouri City can still help even if the problem is already present. We will examine your teeth to determine how much shifting occurred and can even realign them to stop the movement. Call 281.346.9597 to request an appointment today.