Everyone who undertakes orthodontic treatment hopes to keep their teeth straight, healthy, and beautiful for the rest of their lives! Because many orthodontic treatments take a long time, patience, and money to finish and achieve the desired result, patients naturally anticipate their results to last. However, it is usual for people to overlook the retention phase, which is possibly the most important part of the treatment.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your teeth stay in their ideal position and condition after the treatment is completed.
Why do Teeth Move?
Our teeth have good memories. They recall their previous positions before orthodontic treatment and frequently want to return to them. Known as ‘relapse’, it is more likely that teeth will come back to their pre-braces locations where there were spaces between the teeth or the teeth were very twisted. After braces are removed, teeth and gums can take years to settle. It is widely known that minor tooth movements occur in all people and that a variety of medical conditions can influence bone turnover and consequent tooth movement inside the bone.
Some other situations could occur that could turn straight teeth into crooked teeth.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching – It is an oral condition known as Bruxism. When people are stressed, they often grind their top and bottom teeth together or clench them tightly. The act of grinding and clenching the teeth can cause the gums to recede. Teeth aren't as secure as they used to be with less gum tissue, so they can move about more easily.
Tooth Loss - When a tooth is lost, the teeth around it begin to shift towards the gap. The only method to prevent this is to get a partial denture or a dental implant placed by a dentist.
Wisdom Teeth - Wisdom teeth are usually extracted during adolescence because the new teeth can force the other teeth out of place. Anyone with braces before wisdom teeth appear should keep an eye on them so they can be extracted as soon as they become a threat to other teeth.
Gum Disease – This is also known as periodontal disease. It has the potential to damage the teeth, gums, and jaw bone. Teeth lose their foundation in the gums over time. This can lead them to shift around easily, resulting in a crooked smile.
Protecting Straight Teeth After Braces
Braces are an investment. Just by doing the following, you can extend the life of your investment.
- Wear a retainer to keep your teeth in place. Your teeth will not shift if you use a retainer. Wear it according to your orthodontist's instructions.
- Make sure to see your dentist regularly. Every six months, you should see a dentist. The dentist will be able to detect indicators of wisdom tooth emergence as well as gum disease. If either of these scenarios occurs, your dentist can advise you on how to keep your teeth straight.
- If you have bruxism, wear a nightguard. Wear a nightguard, also known as a mouthguard at night if you grind or clench your teeth. A dentist can custom make one that fits your mouth and is more comfortable for you.
- Practicing good dental hygiene is important. After each meal, clean and floss your teeth three times a day. Your teeth and gums will be healthy and strong as a result of this.
If you see any changes in your smile, contact an orthodontist right away to see what can be done. Straightening teeth that are only mildly crooked is easier and requires less time.