Why did my teeth move after braces?
Congratulations on getting braces to straighten your teeth, you made a great investment in yourself! Now that your braces are off and it is time to show off that beautiful or handsome looking smile, it is more important than ever to make sure that it stays that way. It is your responsibility to keep your teeth straight.
Retainers are to be worn per Dr. Leo Toureno’s directions. Many times, you are to wear your retainers full time for a certain period of time before graduating to a part time or nighttime wear only.
People vary in their biology as well as how their teeth move after braces. Some people are fortunate enough not to have to wear retainers, and their teeth do not move after braces, while others tend to move the second the braces come off. Many times, there is no way of knowing which type of patient you are, therefore it is safer to continue wearing your retainer indefinitely every night for as long as you want to have straight teeth.
A reason why most peoples’ teeth move after braces is due to the “memory” effect of the elastic fibers surrounding the teeth. This is especially true if the original teeth were severely rotated or displaced.
Another reason that teeth move after braces is the continual changes that our body goes through as we age. Just like our hair color and our skin complexion that changes over time, so will the facial and dental structures. The face and jaws continue to change in shape and form so subtly and ever so inconspicuously over time, that it is virtually imperceptible, but may manifest through the shifting of teeth.
One theory is that the lower jaw continues to grow slightly over time as we grow older even through our adult years and reduces space for the lower teeth making them crowded.
Another theory is that there is imbalance in the forces delivered between the cheeks, lips and tongue muscles, which can push teeth into undesirable positions.
Yet another theory arising from studies of Stone Age man indicates that teeth tend to want to migrate forward over time, which causes the crowding effect of the lower front teeth.
Many people believe that wisdom teeth or third molars if not extracted can cause the teeth to be “pushed” forward and cause crowding and crooked teeth. The scientific literature has shown that this believe has no strong support.
The best way to prevent shifting teeth after braces is to wear your retainers as directed-sometimes even more often than directed if your teeth are telling you that they want to move. You can tell if this is happening, if your retainers feel tighter than usual-wear them more often. Keep smiling!