Some patients in Singapore who have had orthodontic braces treatment many years ago regret that their teeth have moved since. These patients have said that their beautiful smile after wearing braces has changed and their has moved over the years.
The truth is that teeth have a habit of shifting back to their previous positions, often in undesirable alignment. These patients in Singapore may have thought that removing the braces was the end of their journey and their teeth would have been fixed in place from then on. However, the journey does not just stop after removing braces. Once the braces are removed, braces patients in Singapore need to be mindful of their teeth and take active steps to protect their teeth to preserve their smile for a lifetime.
Teeth have a memory and even after braces treatment, they have a tendency to move back into their former positions. These movements are gradual and may occur soon after the braces are removed or take place over many years.
Teeth shift and movement are also part and parcel of the aging process. The teeth move to the front of the mouth, especially teeth which are located at the bottom part of the mouth. This can cause further crowding, wear and tear and have an impact on the aesthetics of the teeth.
Additionally, changes over time in the gum and bone structures may affect the stability of the teeth. Poor oral hygiene also has an impact on teeth placement and position. Plaque and decay buildup can modify the shape and appearance of a tooth and make it shift.
Bad habits such as grinding teeth at night has an adverse impact on tooth health and movement. Over time, these habits may cause the teeth to deviate from the perfect alignment during orthodontic braces treatment.
For braces patients in Singapore, the only way to ensure that the teeth do not move is to keep them in place with retainers. These retainers come in two types, either fixed or removable retainers.
Removable retainers are often worn after treatment with braces of invisalign to preserve the position of the teeth that the Orthodontist has adjusted them to. These retainers are usually worn full time for four to six months after the braces treatment. After full time retainers wear, the patients can progress onto wearing the retainers only at night. The retainers are removed for eating, drinking and brushing teeth. Checking removable retainers is important as they may warp and not work as effectively over time. They should be replaced in such cases.
Fixed retainers are placed behind the teeth, ensuring the teeth stay in the position that the Orthodontist sets it to. The wire keeps the front teeth from moving and may be used for patients who forget to wear removable retainers. The wire does not take long for the patient to get accustomed to and can stay in the position for years without any problems. However, it is important to check the integrity of the wire. Once the wire breaks or bends, it is essential that the Orthodontist repairs the wire before the teeth move out of the correct position.
If you are a patient who has done braces treatment but have not followed through with retainers, resulting in the teeth shifting, you may want to have your teeth realigned. Ultimately, it all depends on the extent to which the teeth have shifted. If not worn for some time, patients may notice a slight shift in their teeth because they have not worn the retainers as directed by the Orthodontist.
If a patient has been negligent in wearing the retainers for a few nights, the retainers may feel slightly uncomfortable and tight when wearing. Teeth can move back into place when the retainers are worn continuously for 24 hours with the retainers only being removed minimally to eat, drink and brush teeth. After the tightness has subsided, indicating that the teeth have moved back into the correct position, the patient can start to wear the retainers only at night.
Retainers are made to hold teeth in fixed positions and are not designed to correct and move misaligned teeth. If there is a significant shift in the teeth and the retainers do not fit properly, patients need to make an appointment with their Orthodontist for a checkup.
It is not advisable to wear an ill-fitting retainer as such a retainer can damage the teeth and gums. It is important to seek professional advice from an Orthodontist to discuss the options available.
There are a number of patients who had braces treatment but were negligent in wearing the retainer for long enough. Their teeth may have shifted out of alignment and they may require a second Orthodontic braces treatment to correct misalignment and incorrect positions of their teeth. If they are not happy with the appearance of the misaligned teeth and want to regain the perfect smile they attained after the braces treatment, they should make an appointment with the Orthodontist.
If you feel that your retainers do not fit well and if your teeth have experienced a visible change, it would be good to contact an Orthodontist. If you have finished braces treatment recently, it is best not to delay booking an appointment with the Orthodontist.