Young man and woman embraces while wearing braces and smiling

Why Do Teeth Shift After Orthodontic Treatment?

You’ve just had your braces removed, and expect you’ll have straight teeth forever. Then one day you notice your teeth are shifting! What’s going on? Did the treatment not work? Some people may notice their teeth shift after finishing orthodontic treatments, but it’s not necessarily a cause for concern. Nevertheless, this can be a disconcerting sight, so here we’ll explain some common reasons for the shift.

Shifting After Braces

Once your braces or retainer are off, there is nothing to hold the teeth in place. Consequently, your teeth can start moving slightly out of position. Eating and biting down in particular adds pressure on one’s teeth, but so does talking. Combined, these forces can cause your teeth to slowly shift. That’s why it’s so important to wear your retainer after treatments. It will allow your teeth to adjust so that the shifting that happens after won’t be as intense.

Shifting Without Braces

Let’s say you didn’t have your braces removed, or you’ve never worn braces at all. Maybe you’ve just undergone tooth extraction, or perhaps you just lost a tooth. Nevertheless, now your teeth are moving! What gives? With more wiggle room to move, sometimes other teeth start to shift into the gap. This can be prevented with restorative dental treatments, like bridges, partial dentures, and dental implants, that fill the gap before shifting occurs.

When Is It a Cause for Concern?

While shifting teeth after orthodontic treatment is usually nothing to worry about, there are some scenarios that warrant concern. If the shifting is quite significant, call the dentist or orthodontist immediately. You should also see a dental professional if you notice your front teeth are shifting. Most of the time, you may just need a simple retainer tweak. However, in more severe cases that have been left untreated for years, you may need another round of braces or treatment.

If you have any orthodontic concerns, be sure to call Wildflower Dental & Orthodontics to set up an appointment with Dr. Walkington today!

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