Did you undergo orthodontic treatment years ago, leaving you with a perfectly straight smile? Have you noticed some shifting over the years? If so, there are plenty of options to touch up and retreat your smile to get back on track!
At Guymon Orthodontics, we often see patients who experience orthodontic relapse. This describes the tendency for teeth to shift back to their original position after treatment. There is a short-term relapse, which occurs within the first year post-treatment. However, if more than a year has passed, then you could experience long-term relapse.
What causes orthodontic relapse?
One of the main reasons for orthodontic relapse is that today’s adult patients are told as teens that they could stop wearing their retainers after a year or so. This approach has now been updated, with orthodontists agreeing that retainers should be worn part-time for life.
While wearing a retainer for life can sound overwhelming, most patients will only need to wear the appliance overnight to keep the smile they’ve worked hard to achieve. Let’s dive in a bit more to see the other factors of orthodontic relapse and your treatment options!
Teeth grinding and tooth loss
If you’re a chronic tooth grinder, you already know the damage that it can cause. But, you may not be aware that it can strain your teeth. Similar to tooth loss due to trauma, periodontal disease, and decay. Both teeth grinding and loss can cause misalignment and alter the bite.
Genetics and natural aging
As you grow older, you may experience natural teeth shifting forward, even though genetics gave you a beautiful smile. This natural shift over time reduces the amount of space available for the front teeth, which can become overcrowded.
How are orthodontic relapses treated?
You spent a lot of time and hard work to achieve the smile you always wanted, so it can be frustrating when your teeth shift for any reason. But Dr. Guymon is here to help you address orthodontic relapse and explain how we can use one of the methods below for treatment.
As we know, movement over time is expected. The gums and bones that support your teeth change as you age, and your retainers can become slightly distorted to wear. If you’ve faithfully worn your retainer as directed but are still experiencing some minor shifting, we may be able to monitor your teeth for any further movement.
Often we can treat minor movements with a new retainer. This will likely be one of our first steps, especially if you’ve lost or broken your current retainer.
There are several treatment options that we can explore to correct your relapse and get your smile back to the beautifully aligned smile you worked hard to achieve! If there is a significant relapse, Dr. Guymon may recommend one of the following retreatment options.
Instead of the brackets and wires that you may be familiar with, Dr. Guymon can use 3M™ Clarity® clear aligners to give you a stunning smile quickly and efficiently using a series of clear, custom-fit aligners. Since these trays are invisible and removable, they also offer a new level of flexibility that you won’t receive with traditional braces. There are no food restrictions, and your oral hygiene routine will be much easier to navigate!
This treatment option is one of our most efficient treatments for severe cases. Metal braces use stainless steel brackets and wires that adhere to your teeth. This process is more comfortable than what you may experience as a teen. The time spent in traditional braces also tends to be shorter than what it used to be.
Love your smile again with Guymon Orthodontics
If you’ve experienced any form of orthodontic relapse but do not want to address it just yet, know that our Guymon Orthodontics team is ready to help you. Our goal is for our Logan and Hyrum patients to have a smile they love and deserve. Correcting a relapse tends to take less time than your original treatment and will be worth it once you see the smile you love again. Get in touch with our Logan or Hyrum office to schedule your free consultation today!