If you spend months or years caring for braces and experience the revelation of nice, straight teeth after they were removed, you probably expect them to stay put. However, your teeth can shift after your braces are removed, for a number of reasons.
Dr. Stephen Hiroshige can help. There are a few things you can do to prevent your teeth from shifting, and if you do find that’s happening, Dr. Hiroshige may suggest Invisalign® to help get your teeth back in alignment.
Reasons teeth shift
You may think of your teeth as being static, but the fact is they are changing all the time, and if you think about it, it makes sense. Just as a drip of water can change the shape of rock over time, so the pressure of your tongue against your teeth can move them over time.
Braces move your teeth from their natural position by design. When the braces come off, your teeth begin trying to move back. This is the reason a retainer can be so important. If you have a permanent retainer bonded to your teeth, you’re less likely to experience shifting, but if part of the bond breaks, it can certainly happen.
Another possible reason for your teeth shifting is poor gum health. If you develop gum disease that is severe enough to cause bone loss, your teeth could shift. Similarly, if you have a tooth pulled, your remaining teeth may move.
If you grind your teeth in your sleep, it can cause your teeth to move. You may not even be aware of the grinding, which is one of many reasons that regular dental exams are so important—grinding usually leaves signs Dr. Hiroshige can see.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a treatment for sleep apnea that requires you to wear a mask that delivers a steady flow of air. CPAP therapy may also cause your teeth to move.
Preventing the movement
One of the most important things you can do is have regular dental exams and professional cleanings. Dr. Hiroshige can see signs of tooth movement, as well as signs of teeth grinding. If you grind your teeth, a night guard could be a good solution. Regular cleanings can help you avoid developing gum disease and potential bone loss.
In some cases a removable retainer could be the solution, and in others, using Invisalign trays could correct any movement that has already occurred.
If you suspect your teeth are moving, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hiroshige. It’s important to get personalized advice based on an exam of your mouth.