Have your teeth shifted after braces? Here is what you can do about it.
Updated: Mar 4, 2019
What is an Orthodontic Relapse?
Orthodontic Relapse is when your teeth moved out of their ideal position sometime after you finished your orthodontic treatment. It can be very frustrating to watch your new, beautiful smile slowly changing especially when you put so much effort into getting it in the first place.
Why does the orthodontic relapse happen?
After you finish your orthodontic treatment it is important that you follow your doctor's instructions and wear a retainer. The retainer will help maintain your teeth in their new corrected position. Failure to do so may result in an orthodontic relapse and your teeth moving towards their pre-treatment position. It is the reason why most orthodontists nowadays recommend lifelong wear of the retainers. They are the only way to truly protect your new, beautiful smile.
What can you do if your teeth have shifted?
If your teeth have already shifted don't worry, hope's not lost. You have a few options to correct your post-orthodontic shifting.
Option 1 - monitoring and continuing with the current retainers
If your teeth have shifted very slightly and provided you can still wear your retainers (i.e. they still fit and are not damaged or too tight) you may choose to leave things as they are. It is important though to wear your retainers diligently and monitor your teeth for any further shifting.
Option 2 - new retainers
Some very minor teeth movement might be corrected with a new set of retainers.
Option 3 - re-treatment
Even if your teeth have shifted after orthodontic treatment they shouldn't be as out of place as they were before you had braces. The re-treatment will usually be quicker and easier. The good news is patients who have experienced orthodontic relapse are often very good candidates for the treatment with clear aligners such as Invisalign.
Invisalign as Orthodontic Relapse treatment
Invisalign is a great option for patients whose teeth have relapsed following the orthodontic treatment.
As an alternative to braces, Invisalign uses a series of plastic aligners to move teeth to their correct position.
The aligners are made of a transparent material and fit snugly over your teeth. They are almost invisible so hardly anyone will notice you're wearing them.
The treatment takes relatively less time than traditional braces do. Depending on the severity of your relapse it may take as little as 3 months.
The cost of Invisalign treatment is affordable, but it will again depend on the severity of your misalignment. Most orthodontists also offer payment in convenient instalments.
The great thing about Invisalign is that you will remove it for eating, drinking and brushing. You can also remove it for any special occasions.
Overall, Invisalign is a great alternative for treating relapse. It is effective, fast, comfortable, virtually invisible and affordable too.
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