Why Have My Teeth Moved After Braces?

teeth moved after braces

We hear it a lot, you lapsed on wearing your retainer. One of the most common regrets of people who have completed orthodontic treatment is not wearing their retainers as prescribed. We want you to keep the beautiful smile you ended treatment with. Do you know why your teeth moved after braces? 

Advanced Technology

If you had an orthodontic treatment done as a child 10 years ago, or more, advancements in technology have changed retainer recommendations. The awareness and information we have now wasn’t available back then. Previously, retainers were to be worn on an as-needed basis. Now? We recommend them for life. 

Why Have My Teeth Moved After Braces

Remember how old you were when you began your orthodontic treatment? Your teeth had been in their original position for years and suddenly they were being asked (more so forced) into a new home. They have spent much longer in their original position and often try to go back there, can we blame them? It’s what they know! 

Your teeth have a long memory and once they don’t have something to keep them in place, they try and go back. This can happen soon after braces or it may take many years – it varies from person to person! 

Shifting teeth is a natural part of aging, they want to move to the front of the mouth which can cause crowding. Changes in the gum and bone density may also affect the stability of your tooth positions. 

If you don’t keep a proper oral hygiene routine it can negatively impact the placement of the teeth. If you aren’t brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes, plaque and decay can set in. Decay can cause the shape of the tooth to change and shift. 

Have Do You Prevent Shifting?

The only way to ensure your teeth don’t shift after braces is to hold them in place with retainers – either fixed or removable. 

Removable Retainers

One of the more popular options after orthodontic treatment is removable retainers. After treatment patients wear a thin, clear aligner, retainer. Directly after treatment, it is recommended to wear full-time for at least three months and then move to part-time at night. 

In our offices, we recommend Vivera Retainers from the makers of Invisalign. They are custom-fit with a virtually invisible look and are comfortable to take them in and out multiple times a day. 

If the clear retainer breaks, cracks, or gets lost you will need to replace it right away. A cracked retainer won’t apply the same force to keep the teeth from moving and is therefore not doing its job correctly. 

Fixed Retainers

Remember how we said the reason your teeth have moved after braces is that they weren’t held in place? To keep them there, you have to remember to wear your retainer! Some patients know that they will forget to wear their removable retainer – that’s why we have fixed retainers!

Fixed retainers are placed behind the teeth, holding your teeth right where you want them to be. The thin wire protects the teeth from moving. There is an adjustment period but soon you won’t even notice it’s there! 

These retainers can stay in place and last for many years with no problems. However, like everything, they may need to be replaced years down the line or if the wire breaks. 

How Do You Fix Teeth Moved After Braces?

The course of treatment have your teeth have moved depends on how much they have shifted. You may notice only a slight shift in your teeth, or there may be some more noticeable crowding or spaces.

If you miss a night or two of wearing your retainers, don’t worry. They may feel a little tight when you next put them on, but they are moving your teeth back into place! While they may move them slightly, they are designed to hold your teeth in place, not move them. If they have moved significantly and your retainers no longer properly fit, you will need to schedule a consultation for reevaluation.