Whether you had a severe underbite or a misaligned jaw, we can only imagine how relieved you felt knowing your orthodontic treatment was finally over. However, fast-forward a couple of months, and you’ve gone to put in your retainer only to discover to your horror, that it no longer fits.
Despite how long it might’ve taken to move them in the first place, if you lose your retainer or forget to wear it, your teeth can shift back to their previous position in as little as two weeks. And if it’s you in this position, we can only imagine the betrayal you feel!
After all, orthodontic treatment is painful and not to mention downright expensive, so you might feel as though you’ve ruined your chances of a perfect smile. But fret not; orthodontic relapse is common, and fortunately, there are various ways to rectify your issues before they become a bigger problem.
From getting your teeth straight again using invisible aligners and wearing a mouthguard when participating in contact sports to consulting with your orthodontist and keeping your new smile clean, we outline several steps to take if your teeth have shifted after orthodontic treatment in our article below.
If you have a severe underbite, misaligned jaw, or another jaw-related issue, if you still have your retainer on hand, you might be tempted to wear them in hopes of shifting your teeth back where they should be. However, this is different from what your retainer is designed for.
If it’s been a while since you last wore it wearing your old retainer could cause discomfort and even damage your teeth. Therefore, your dentist might recommend that you wear another set of braces for a short while, or they might suggest using aligners to coax the teeth back into position.
Aligners work similarly to traditional metal braces; however, they can be designed to be completely clear like the ones from ALIGNERCO, so you don’t have to worry about going through the ‘metal mouth’ look again. Consider visiting their website to learn more about their at-home invisible aligner kits.
Despite being in the same family, aligners, retainers, and mouthguards are completely different oral accessories, and as a result, they each have their purpose. After going through years or months of orthodontic treatment, mouthguards help keep your new smile looking perfect by protecting it during sleep and when participating in close-contact sports.
If, in your free time, you enjoy taking part in heavy-impact sports like wrestling, boxing, or taekwondo, you might have already used a mouthguard to protect your teeth when participating in sessions. We mean, it’s bad enough having to be treated for a severe underbite without being treated for a foot to the jaw simultaneously – so why wouldn’t you use one?
However, post-orthodontic treatment, it is even more crucial that you use a mouthguard during these sessions to maintain your high-quality results and prevent shifting. Similarly, if you suffer from bruxism, a mouthguard won’t stop you from grinding your teeth, but it will soften the impact and prevent your teeth from moving out of place.
Keeping On Top Of Your Oral Hygiene
Though you might feel that this goes without saying, if you want to ensure that your teeth stay aligned post-orthodontic treatment, keeping on top of your oral hygiene is essential. Although what is considered a ‘healthy’ oral hygiene routine looks different for everyone, it is imperative that you practice daily brushing and flossing.
Doing so gives you a high-quality chance of preserving your mouth easily and microorganism-loose, stopping the build-up of commonplace oral health problems which include tooth decay, cavities, gum ailment, bad breath, and lots more.
As well as everyday brushing and flossing, you have to additionally timetable regular appointments with your dentist so that you can come up with examinations, recommendations, x-rays, and cleanings and reassure you that your modern dental routine is sufficient (in particular if you have a record of awful tooth problems!). This ends in our next factor.
Schedule An Appointment With Your Dentist
Lastly, if you’re noticing changes in the alignment of your smile no matter how many years, months, or weeks post-treatment you’ve been, scheduling an appointment with your dentist is the best way to find out what to do next.
When you talk to an oral health professional, they can assess the damage and devise the best course of action, whether another course of braces for a shorter period or fitting you with another retainer to help you shift your smile back to normal.
Ultimately, the quicker you tackle the problem of shifting teeth, the faster your orthodontist can develop a stress (and pain-free!) solution; even if you haven’t been a pro’ at wearing your retainer, it’s never too late to sort out your smile.
If you don’t have a dentist yet, you can check out this one that does Invisalign and quality veneers in Raleigh.