Relapse: Help! My teeth have shifted!
So you’re finally done with orthodontic treatment. You’ve spent the money and the time for your friendly orthodontist to take off those braces or finish those clear aligner trays. They give you a retainer with a set of instructions and you are the happiest person alive!
Days or months go by and your retainer is gone! Maybe your dog ate it? Perhaps the waiter threw it away with your napkin? Or you left it at that vacation destination, only to remember that night on flight back.
Give it time and your teeth will shift. The degree of relapse will vary from person to person. Some individuals will experience very little shifting, while others significant movement. It’s a matter of stability. My wise professor always told us, “the most stable malocclusion is the initial malocclusion.” What he meant was the greater we deviate from the initial alignment of your teeth the less stable the resulting outcome of treatment. Patient’s with very complex malocclusions and extremely difficult cases will need greater consideration in retention (in general). We may even consider a “fixed” retainer, which is a small wire glued to the tongue side of your teeth in the event you do not wish to have a removeable retainer. Regardless of where you started, you and I would prefer to keep things the way we left them when we finished treatment!
Your greatest fear may be going through another short phase of braces, but really this is a great time to consider a few clear aligners to get you back on track. Our retainers just so happen to be “Invisalign” style, clear retainers, so consider these “active” retainers. If you think that your teeth have shifted after orthodontic treatment come see us. We’d be happy to get you back to a straight smile! For more information on treating relapse with clear aligners click here or call us at 563-556-2353.