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After completing your braces journey, it is a relief to get them off and see your new smile! You may assume this signals the end of your orthodontic journey, however, to keep your new smile looking great, there is still work to be done. Teeth are still susceptible to movement once your braces are removed, which is why it’s important to wear a retainer to keep your teeth from moving back to their original position. 

Why Do Your Teeth Shift? 

Teeth can move at any stage of life even if you have naturally straight teeth.  After orthodontic treatment, it’s also natural that your teeth might begin to move back to their original position.  How much this happens is difficult to predict: some people experience a lot of movement, while others experience very little.  

How Can I Prevent Teeth Shifting After Braces? 

There are a few steps you can take to reduce the amount of movement after your braces come off. If you are noticing significant changes in your smile despite following these steps, it might be time to book in for a check-up with your orthodontist to understand the right way to care for your teeth. 

Removable Retainers 

After your orthodontic journey comes to an end, you may be fitted for removable retainers.  Initially they would need to be worn day and night (except while eating and brushing) for a number of months tapering to wearing at night only.  By wearing a retainer, your teeth will remain in the desired place and are unlikely to move significantly. However, if your retainer isn’t fitting or is uncomfortable, check in with your orthodontist to ensure it is still working and hasn’t warped in shape. 

Permanent Retainers 

Remembering to wear removable retainers can be difficult, which is why many opt for permanent or fixed retainers that are attached behind the teeth. This thin wire protects your teeth from moving and can be left in place for many years. It is still important to check your permanent retainers with your Orthodontist to ensure they remain in good condition.

What Happens If My Teeth Have Moved Significantly? 

If you notice that your teeth have moved a lot and your retainers do not fit correctly, you should book in with your orthodontist as soon as possible. It is best to address movement sooner rather than later to avoid repeating braces treatments.

Have Questions? 

Ethos is here to answer your questions and assist you throughout your orthodontic journey. If you want to know more about your braces treatment or have any other enquiries, contact our friendly staff today!