Most people think that after their orthodontic treatment, they can move on in life with a straight smile forever. While this can be true, there are something things you need to remember after treatment.
Teeth Can Shift After Braces
Teeth aren’t permanently attached to your mouth with braces. They are simply guided in a way to make them straight. When braces are removed, the teeth no longer have that barrier. This can lead to shifting. Oftentimes, they do not shift enough to be noticeable. However, there are some situations that could occur that could turn straight teeth into crooked teeth.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching – This is an oral condition called Bruxism. Many people who become stressed will either grind their top and bottom teeth or clench them together tightly. The act of grinding and clenching can recede the gums. With less gum tissue, teeth aren’t as secure as they were before, so they can move easily.
Tooth Loss – When someone loses a tooth, the teeth around it will start to move towards the opening. The only way to prevent this from happening is to have a dentist make a partial denture or put in a dental implant.
Wisdom Teeth – Most people have their wisdom teeth extracted during adolescence because the new teeth can push the other teeth. Anyone who has braces before wisdom teeth appear needs to keep an eye on them to have them extracted as soon as they pose a threat to other teeth.
Gum Disease – This is also known as periodontal disease. It can affect the teeth, gums, and jaw bone. Over time, teeth lose their foundation in the gums. This can cause them to easily move to ruin a straight smile.
Protecting Straight Teeth after Braces
Braces are an investment. You can make that investment last longer simply by doing the following.
- Wear a retainer. The retainer will keep your teeth from shifting. Wear it as recommended by your orthodontist.
- Keep regular appointments with your dentist. You should see a dentist every six months. The dentist will be able to look out for signs of wisdom teeth coming through and gum disease. If either of those situations happen, the dentist can recommend the next steps to ensure your teeth remain straight.
- Wear a mouthguard if you suffer from bruxism. If you grind or clench your teeth, wear a mouthguard at night. A dentist can have one made for you that fits your mouth, making it more comfortable.
- Practice good oral hygiene. Remember to brush and floss your teeth three times a day after meals. This will keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong.
If you ever see changes in your smile, don’t wait to contact an orthodontist to see what can be done. It’s easier and takes less time to straighten teeth that are only mildly crooked.