Braces aren’t fun for a lot of people. They’re hard to take care of, incredibly fragile, and just way too much of a hassle to deal with every day. Naturally, this makes us feel all the more relieved and excited when it’s finally time to get our braces removed. Once our braces are off, that means no more treatments, pain, and stress…right? Well, not exactly.
Your teeth might not always stay perfectly straight and aligned even after you’ve worn braces. The periodontal ligament (i.e. tissues connecting your teeth to the jawbone) can make your teeth crooked again since there isn’t anything holding them in place anymore. Other times, too much pressure and improper care often cause teeth to shift out of place even after years of treatment.
You don’t have to panic if you think your smile is beginning to lose its charm. Although teeth shifting is a very common problem, it’s also very treatable and preventable. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth prim and proper after your braces are removed.
Why Do Teeth Move After Braces Are Removed?
“Orthodontic relapse” occurs when the stretchable ligaments connecting your teeth and jawbone pull and move your teeth into crooked positions. These ligaments need more time to adjust and stay in place, which is why most patients are required to wear retainers after their braces are removed.
Pressure is another common cause of orthodontic relapse. When you bite strongly on food or practice habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting, the resulting pressure forces teeth to shift out of place. Other harmful habits like chewing ice and grinding teeth don’t only make your teeth crooked, but they can also damage enamel and cause painful cavities. If you’re prone to practicing habits that are harmful to your oral health, your dentist will need to help you stop before they can begin any further treatment.
It’s also natural for your teeth to suddenly shift if your wisdom teeth are about to erupt. This is because the resulting pressure from an erupting wisdom tooth forces the surrounding teeth to make room and move from their original positions. Since wisdom teeth don’t usually erupt until adulthood, people who wore braces as teenagers or children often end up needing to get their teeth straightened again.
Your genetics may also play a huge role in how your teeth are positioned. If you have a naturally strong tongue and facial muscles, or if your jawbone and teeth don’t have compatible sizes, your teeth can end up moving out of place. Others might also experience shifting teeth when their gum tissues or jawbones weaken in old age. Thankfully, there are several treatments you can avail of to keep your teeth prim and proper even if age or genetics aren’t on your side.
Keeping Your Teeth Straight After The Braces Are Off
The best way to maintain straight teeth after your braces are removed is to simply wear your retainer. Depending on what your dentist says, you might need to wear retainers for six months or even up to a few years. You might even need to wear your retainers at night in order to prevent any serious relapses from happening. If wearing removable retainers isn’t easy for you, fixed or permanent retainers are another viable solution. No matter what type of retainer you wear, it’s important to maintain proper care and use. Otherwise, you could end up infecting your teeth with built-up plaque or seriously damage sensitive teeth.
Can You Reuse Old Retainers?
While retainers can indeed be used for a long time, you won’t benefit much from using one that’s old and worn out. Since retainers are specially designed to fit the natural contour of your teeth, they won’t do much if your teeth have already become severely crooked or out of shape. In fact, they can even make things worse by damaging enamel or spreading hardened plaque. It’s much better to have new retainers made since they’re much cleaner, healthier, and a better fit for your teeth.
Keep In Touch With Your Dentist
Burning bridges with your dentist is never a bright idea. Even after your braces are removed, you should still schedule important checkups and cleanings with your dentist to ensure that your teeth are still in proper shape. Your dentist will also need to check up on your retainers and provide instructions on how to properly care for and use them. If there are any wisdom teeth about to emerge or if you feel like your teeth are beginning to relapse, you should also contact your dentist immediately to prevent any future problems from happening.
Wait Before Whitening
You might be anxious to make your smile both straight and bright, but it’s much better to wait for at least two months after your braces have been removed before getting any whitening treatments. Since your teeth will be more sensitive than usual, using chemical products or getting sudden cosmetic treatments might damage them pretty badly.
Be Careful With What You Eat
The additional pressure from biting on hard objects often causes teeth to shift out of place. After your braces are removed, it’s best to eat food that isn’t too chewy or tender. Try sticking to mashed potatoes, soups, pasta, and other soft foods to avoid putting any unnecessary strain or pain on your teeth. Food and drinks that are extremely hot and cold should also be avoided since they can damage enamel and aggravate tooth sensitivity.
Maintain Daily Care
Brushing and flossing twice a day are both effective ways to keep your teeth in proper shape. Practicing proper oral hygiene doesn’t just help you get rid of everyday germs and bacteria, but it also strengthens your teeth and removes any plaque or tartar that may have built up underneath your braces. Doing these essential activities will also prevent tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other oral health problems that can put tons of stress on both your teeth and your wallet.
A Great Tool For Daily Oral Care
Even though toothbrushes are essential to maintaining proper oral hygiene, they sometimes miss out on areas of our teeth that gather the most plaque and bacteria. You can keep your teeth safe from nasty microbes stuck between teeth and near the gums with a durable, reliable, and above all safe dental scaler. Meeteasy’s dental scaler comes with sensitive cleaning options that allow you to scrape off any built-up dirt, plaque, and bacteria without damaging or dislodging your teeth, so why not buy one from our online store today?