Had Braces As A Child But Suddenly Unhappy With Your Smile? 3 Reasons Your Teeth May Have Shifted & New Adult Braces Options
If you wore braces as a child or teenager, then you likely remember that experience relatively well, or at least some of it. However, you may look at your smile in the mirror today, many years later, and wonder why your teeth "suddenly" aren't perfectly straight anymore. You may also wonder how you can have your teeth re-straightened with less discomfort than you experienced when wearing braces as a child and less hassle. Read on to learn three reasons your teeth may "suddenly" appear crooked, even though you wore braces in the past, and the best teeth-straightening options for adults.
Reasons Your Teeth May Have Shifted After Wearing Braces As a Child or Teen
1. You Neglected to Wear Your Retainer as Instructed
When your orthodontist removed your braces when you were a child or teenager, they likely gave you a dental device called a retainer to wear on a specified schedule. While prescribed schedules vary depending on the specific patient's teeth and the orthodontist's good judgment, most dental professionals advise patients to wear their removable retainer around the clock for about a year after their braces are removed and then only at night thereafter.
The reason a dental retainer is so important to wear after having braces taken off is due to the fact that the jaw is constantly changing as a person ages, and changes in the jaw can shift those perfect teeth out of alignment very easily. In addition, immediately after your braces were taken off, your teeth were still "settling" into their permanently straight position and would have "drifted" out of position much more easily during this time period.
2. Your Wisdom Teeth Caused New Tooth Crowding
While not all dentists believe that wisdom teeth that grow it relatively straight can cause crowding of your other teeth, many do. However, if your wisdom teeth were impacted and merged perpendicular to your second molars, pushing on the molars as the teeth grew in, then this definitely could have caused your teeth to crowd due to the force exerted on them.
If you know that you wore your retainer as instructed after your braces were taken off and now have wisdom teeth in your mouth or had them removed, then those third molars could be to blame for the changes in your smile.
3. You Wore Braces Too Early
If you suffered from an embarrassing dental problem, then your parents may have been very eager to have your teeth straightened and asked an orthodontist to provide you braces before your adult teeth all emerged. While braces can work well for many children of an early age and provide lasting results, in some circumstances, this very early teeth intervention does not last as long as a family hopes.
Your orthodontist likely told your parent(s) that giving you braces at a very early age meant that you may need to have your teeth straightened again later in life, but your parent(s) may have chosen to go ahead with the early braces to help boost your self-esteem or end bullying at school due to your dental problems.
Your Options Now To Straighten Your Teeth for Life
Unlike when you were a child or teenager, there are many teeth-straitening options aside from traditional metal braces. Even traditional braces have changed over the years and are now made with lighter-weight materials that can make them a bit more comfortable to wear. In addition, heat-activated (or thermal) archwires, which were developed by NASA, are now available, and they are made of a nickel/titanium alloy instead of stainless steel.
However, this is not the only difference between these archwires and their predecessors. Thermal archwires exert constant gentle pressure on your teeth to straighten them faster than traditional archwires, and they make the need for monthly braces "adjustments" a thing of the past. When you had braces as a child or teen, you may remember your teeth feeling sore after your archwires were adjusted every month. With heat-activated archwires, you won't have to worry about this occasional soreness, because they don't need to be adjusted as frequently.
If you don't like the thought of wearing traditional metal braces again, then another great option is a set of clear braces, which are made from metal archwires, but clear or tooth-colored brackets instead of metal ones. Thermal archwires can be used along with clear brackets to provide you braces that are discreet,that straighten your teeth very quickly, and that are comfortable.
If you wore braces as a child or teenager and you are just now realizing that your teeth are not as perfectly straight as they were when your braces were taken off, then one or more of these three reasons that teeth shift after braces are removed could be to blame. However, it is important to look forward and not into the past and have those teeth straightened again with one of today's modern braces options, so you can feel happy with your smile again. To learn more about your options for adult braces, contact a dental office like Fayetteville Family Dentistry.