5 October 2017
Will my teeth stay straight after braces?
Dr. Sarah Flannery explains...
Teeth will remain straight for as long as you wear your retainers every night. In some cases, people may find that their teeth will remain in place long term after prolonged retainer use. However, for others, various forces may pull the teeth in different directions meaning that retainers are the only way to hold their teeth in the correct position.
When the teeth are moved, the ligaments that hold the teeth in place are stretched and twisted. During our younger years, it's far easier for your teeth to move as you are still growing. However, in older patients, retainers become even more important as tooth movement becomes more difficult.
There are occasions in which tooth movement may be prone to relapse, including twisting movements which are more likely to cause issues. In such cases, we recommend bonding a wire to the back of the teeth as a permanent retainer. However, this may not always be possible depending on your bite.
Some people can have very heavy bites or may grind their teeth in their sleep, these additional forces can add pressure on the ligaments, further encouraging tooth movement.
Additionally, some genetic tooth positions are less stable than others and the tongue muscle getting in the way of teeth can also be causes or tooth relapse.
If you're concerned about your teeth or have noticed them become increasingly loose, it's best to talk to your dentist who can advise you on the recommended course of action. Most retainers used in modern dentistry are practically invisible, meaning they are discreet and making maintaining a healthy smile needn't be a chore.
B.A., B. Dent. Sc
(Hons) T.C.D. Cosmetic Dentist, Advanced Aesthetics
Misch Dental Implant Institute