La Habra/Chino Hills, CA – Are you a former orthodontic patient who has discovered that your teeth have drifted out of place? There can be a few reasons for that but the good news is your orthodontist can help you get that smile back.
“Today, we treat more adults than ever before and many of them may have had previous orthodontic treatment,” says Dr. Robert Gire, who serves patients in La Habra/Chino Hills at Gire Orthodontics. “There are a number of reasons why a smile might shift – maybe you didn’t wear your retainer like you should have, maybe you grind your teeth, or maybe it’s just due to genetics. Whatever the case may be, we can help you get that straight smile back.”
Let’s look first at the reasons for relapse.
The most common reason why a patient may experience relapse after orthodontic treatment is failure of wearing the retainers as directed by the orthodontist. The day the braces come off isn’t the day the treatment ends. The teeth along with the surrounding bone and gums require time to solidify in their new locations after the braces are removed. This is why wearing a retainer is so important. The retainer works to protect the teeth from the forces that want to pull them back to their previous positions.
The teeth will stabilize over time, but not without the use of a retainer. But there can be other reasons why one would suffer an orthodontic relapse. They can include:
- Teeth grinding – If you are a chronic tooth grinder, the force of the grinding will alter your bite and place strain on your teeth. The repeated tension that is placed will impact how the teeth are positioned, causing them to become misaligned.
- Genetics – Even if you started with a beautifully straight smile and never needed orthodontics, you may find your teeth shifting as you grow into adulthood, thanks to your genetics.
- Tooth loss – If you lose a tooth due to decay or periodontal disease, you may find other teeth trying to drift into the open space. This can lead to misalignment of your bite.
- Aging – Your teeth will naturally shift a bit over time as you age. As your enamel wears, your teeth may be more susceptible to shifting under pressure. This is especially common in the front teeth.
“Seeing the various factors that can lead to relapse makes it even more apparent why retainers after orthodontic treatment are so important,” says Dr. Gire. “We want your smile to last, but that depends on how faithful you are at wearing your retainers. Very minor tooth movement may be able to be corrected through a new set of retainers. Some patients, however, might experience a significant relapse, and might require another round of braces treatment.”
The good news is, if you’ve suffered a relapse, Dr. Gire can help. And there is no need to worry about spending additional years in braces – correcting a relapse is often much quicker than your original treatment and can be accomplished in a matter of months.
Clear removable aligners such as Clear Correct or Invisalign is an excellent option for patients who need additional treatment to get back their straight smile. It’s clear, comfortable, removable, and works extremely well on minor malocclusions like those often experienced with relapses. But Dr. Gire offers a host of orthodontic treatment options, including self-ligating braces, clear braces, and standard metal braces that are sleeker and more comfortable than ever before.
Your smile will thank you. Not only will you love showing off your new smile again, you’ll ensure better oral health in the future. Even minor overlaps and misalignments can lead to problems in keeping your smile as clean as possible which can increase your risk of decay and gum disease.
If you have suffered an orthodontic relapse, contact Dr. Gire today to learn more about the options available to give you back the smile of your dreams – (909) 393-9911 (Chino Hills) or (562) 690-1199 (La Habra).