Dealing with Adult Orthodontic Relapse
Ideally, the results you get from wearing braces last forever. However, for many adults, orthodontic relapse is a common and disappointing experience, particularly after having spent years wearing metal braces in junior high and high school. If you’re seeing any of the following signs, it might be time to consider another round of braces.
Perhaps the most obvious sign that you need braces is overcrowding, particularly if your teeth were crowded before your first round of orthodontics. Without the reinforcement provided by nightly retainer use, it’s not uncommon for teeth to begin shifting back to their original position.
Shifting teeth don’t just create crowding — they also leave empty gaps in their wake. If you think your teeth are shifting out of position, look for new gaps that weren’t there when you immediately finished braces treatment. In a well aligned smile, your teeth sit side by side without overlapping and are easy to floss.
Gum Disease & Tooth Decay
Moving teeth aren’t just a cosmetic issue — they also pose a serious health problem. When teeth shift out of position, they create new pockets where bacteria and plaque can develop undetected. These areas can be hard to reach with routine brushing and flossing, putting patients who’ve experienced any form of orthodontic relapse at an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay. If you notice that your gums look inflamed or bleed easily, this is a serious sign that you should seek treatment.
Jaw Pain or Discomfort
From biting to breathing, the jaw joint is responsible for almost all oral function. When joint health is compromised by crooked teeth and shifting bite, these daily functions can become a painful part of life. If you notice soreness or discomfort in your jaw, it’s time to make an appointment with your orthodontist.
Difficulty Chewing or Speaking
Shifting teeth can also impact your ability to chew and speak with ease. When teeth don’t evenly match up in your mouth, the bite pattern is thrown off. Issues that can result from shifting teeth include difficulty chewing foods thoroughly or pronouncing certain sounds.
I’m Showing Signs of Orthodontic Relapse – What Do I Do?
When it comes to orthodontic relapse, the sooner you address the issue, the better off you are. Luckily, most patients can correct and reverse orthodontic relapse by undergoing Invisalign® treatment. Rather than having to wear metal braces again, this clear aligning option lets adults regain a straight and beautiful smile on their own schedule.
Need to Treat Your Orthodontic Relapse? Give Dr. Grussmark a Call!
With three convenient locations in the Miami area, our experienced orthodontist has helped thousands of adult patients regain confidence in their smile with Invisalign treatment. Whether you’re considering Invisalign to correct a relapsed smile or thinking about getting braces for the first time, you can trust Dr. Grussmark to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Call us today to get started!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Invisalign the optimal choice for treating orthodontic relapse?
Many adults prefer Invisalign because the clear aligners are so discreet and comfortable. But they have many functional advantages to metal braces as well!
Invisalign can typically achieve the same results that braces would in about half the time. Because the clear aligners are removable, they won’t keep you from enjoying your favorite foods and give you full access for brushing and flossing. They’re the perfect choice for treating orthodontic relapse, as patients who have previously had braces are likely to be excellent candidates for Invisalign.
What can I do after retreatment to preserve my straight smile?
Wearing your retainer is the most important habit to maintain for lasting results from braces or Invisalign. Don’t take your stunning new smile for granted! Wear your retainer regularly for as long as your dentist recommends it.
Your teeth can shift more quickly than you think, especially in the period of time directly after braces or Invisalign. After your treatment is complete, a retainer helps solidify your straight smile and prevents orthodontic relapse. Don’t forget to visit your dentist for regular checkups — they’ll keep your mouth clean and healthy while monitoring for alignment changes.
Will retreatment take as long as my first time in braces?
If you’re proactive about treating misalignment when it starts to reappear in your smile, retreatment time can be significantly reduced. However, if you allow your alignment issues to continue unchecked, it becomes more likely that retreatment will require a full course of braces or Invisalign. Don’t let the signs of orthodontic relapse get worse over time — consult with your dentist and keep your smile in shape.