Prevent Shifting Teeth With Dr. Grussmark
If you’ve worn braces in the past but never wore a nightly retainer, you may have or are currently experiencing an orthodontic relapse. This refers to the regression of aligned teeth as they shift back into their original positions.
So, how do you know if you need to wear braces again? Simply consult with our South Miami orthodontic specialist, Dr. Stephen Grussmark. He’s helped countless patients in Brickell, Coral Gables, and Miami Beach achieve and maintain straight, healthy smiles. Read on to learn more about orthodontic relapse and how you may benefit from retreatment.
What is Orthodontic Relapse?
Orthodontic relapse refers to your teeth shifting back into their original positions following an orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign®. This common occurrence is typically the result of a patient neglecting to wear a retainer after finishing treatment with their orthodontic appliance.
Treatment for orthodontic relapse depends on the severity of the regression. Our South Miami orthodontist may provide you with a retainer, while other patients may benefit from orthodontic retreatment.
What Causes Orthodontic Relapse?
There are several factors contributing to orthodontic relapses, such as:
- Insufficient Retainer Use: The leading cause of orthodontic relapse is failure to wear a retainer following orthodontic treatment. Without this reinforcement, teeth may shift back to their original positions.
- Age: Time can take a toll on our smiles, causing wear and tear to the enamel. Stripped enamel can lead to excess pressure on your teeth, forcing them out of position.
- Tooth Loss: If you’re missing even one tooth, the rest of your smile may shift out of alignment. It can also result in jawbone degradation, which eats away jawbone mass and encourages dental misalignment.
- Teeth Grinding (Bruxism): If you grind your teeth at night, it can put pressure on your teeth and strip their enamel. Both of these factors can result in teeth shifting.
- Continued Tooth Growth: Patients who wore braces at a young age are more susceptible to orthodontic relapse if they don’t wear retainers, as their mouth and teeth continue to move and grow.
Five Signs You May Need Orthodontic Retreatment
If you experience the following symptoms, it may be a sign that you need orthodontic retreatment:
- New Crowding: One of the most obvious signs you need orthodontic retreatment is tooth overcrowding, especially if your teeth were crowded before your treatment. Without the reinforcement of nightly retainer use, teeth may shift back to their original position.
- New Gaps: If you think your teeth are shifting out of position, look for gaps between your teeth that weren’t there when you finished orthodontic treatment. In a well-aligned smile, your teeth sit side by side without overlapping and are easy to floss.
- Gum Disease & Tooth Decay: When teeth shift out of position, they create new pockets where bacteria and plaque can develop undetected. If you notice that your gums look inflamed or bleed easily, this is a serious sign that you should seek gum disease treatment.
- Jaw Pain & Discomfort: From biting to breathing, the jaw joint is responsible for almost all oral functions. Joint health can be compromised by crooked teeth and shifting bites.
- Difficulty Chewing or Speaking: Your bite pattern may be thrown off if your teeth aren’t aligned. Issues that can result from shifting teeth include difficulty pronouncing certain sounds or chewing foods thoroughly.
How Can I Prevent Orthodontic Relapse?
When it comes to orthodontic relapse, the sooner you address the issue, the better. Most patients can correct and reverse orthodontic relapse with Invisalign clear aligners. Rather than having to wear metal braces again, Invisalign lets patients regain a straight and beautiful smile on their schedules.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of retreatment for orthodontic relapse?
What is the best choice for treating orthodontic relapse?
When resolving orthodontic relapse, most patients prefer treatment with Invisalign because the clear aligners are discreet and comfortable. This aligner treatment has several functional advantages over metal braces.
Invisalign can achieve the same results braces would in about half the time. 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 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 orthodontist recommends it.
Your teeth can shift more quickly than you think, especially after treatment. A retainer helps solidify your straight smile and prevents orthodontic relapse. Don’t forget to visit Dr. Grussmark for regular checkups so he can monitor your smile for alignment changes.
Will retreatment take as long as my first time in braces?
Patients proactive about treating misalignment can enjoy reduced retreatment times. However, if you allow your alignment issues to continue unchecked, it becomes more likely that retreatment may require longer treatment times with braces or Invisalign.
Don’t let the signs of orthodontic relapse get worse over time. Consult with our South Miami orthodontist to learn how to keep your smile in shape for years to come.
Maintain a Healthy, Straight Smile With Our Miami Orthodontist
At the Miami office of Dr. Grussmark, we’re determined to provide you with a lifetime of healthy smiles. If an orthodontic relapse affects how you speak, chew, or smile, meet with our Miami orthodontist specialist to discover our options for orthodontic retreatment.
To schedule a consultation, call our Miami, FL office at 305-842-3672 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We look forward to helping you reclaim your oral health and the freedom to eat, speak, and smile the way you want!