Why Do Teeth Continue to Shift After Having Braces?

Once you get your braces taken off, you probably think your teeth will always stay straight. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily true. Here, we’ll explain why your teeth continue to shift after having braces and what you can do to stop them from shifting when the braces come off.

girl smiling twirling her hair wearing braces on her teeth

Why Do Teeth Continue to Shift After Having Braces?

The truth of the matter is that your teeth are always moving and shifting around. When you have braces, your teeth are being held in place by wires. They stretch the ligaments and fibers that attach your teeth to your gums and hold them in your mouth. By putting pressure on these fibers and ligaments with braces, your teeth shift into the straightened position that you want. But once those braces are removed, all bets are off. Your teeth are naturally inclined to move back to where they were positioned originally. They’ll move apart, more forward, and even crowd. On top of teeth’s predisposition to shift back, aging also leads to our teeth shifting. As we get older, our bite changes–usually in the form of collapsing–so that our face also changes.

Is the Same True If I Use Something Other Than Traditional Braces to Straighten My Teeth?

Yes, no matter what treatment you use to get straighter teeth, your teeth will still want to move back into their original position. Options like ClearCorrect Aligner Therapy and Six Month Smiles® Accelerated Braces still use pressure to push and pull those ligaments and fibers to realign your teeth to give you the straight smile of your dreams. Just because they are a more convenient and easier option to straightening your teeth doesn’t mean that your teeth will be immune from shifting after you’re done with the treatment.

How Do I Keep My Teeth From Shifting After Braces?

If our teeth are so determined to move back to their original positioning, then how do you keep your teeth from shifting after braces? The only way to stop the shifting is by wearing a retainer. You may think that after braces you will be done with oral appliances, but in order to keep those ligaments from moving, you need something that will put pressure on them and keep your teeth in the perfect straightened position.

Proper oral care is also vital to keeping your teeth in this newly straightened position. If your teeth become infected, inflamed, decayed, or anything else serious, your teeth can experience crowding, shifting, or even loss. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, using fluoride toothpaste, and coming in to get a professional checkup and cleaning every six months.

If you have any questions about why your teeth shift, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

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