Patients often feel relief at the end of their orthodontic treatment and satisfaction in the appearance and restoration of their smile. However, there are important aftercare steps you need to take to ensure your teeth remain straight after treatment.
Orthodontic relapse can occur for various reasons, some of which a patient can control. Dr. Wayne Sankey, an orthodontist in Flower Mound, TX, offers three tips to avoiding orthodontic relapse.
Wear Your Retainer
At the end of your orthodontic treatment, whether you wore braces or Invisalign, your orthodontist will likely provide you with a retainer. Teeth may take up to a year to stabilize in their new position after orthodontics, and in the meantime, you should wear a retainer to preserve your smile.
The retainer is custom-made to your unique smile and dental needs to ensure a comfortable fit and effective smile maintenance. Directly after your orthodontic treatment, you should wear your retainer as often as possible, though, after some time, you can start to wear it less frequently.
Treat Teeth Grinding
Even if your teeth have stabilized, they can be subject to shifting their position if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth. The grating of the top row of teeth against the bottom row creates abnormal pressure that can damage your teeth and jaw.
Teeth can be subject to cracks, chips, and more harm from this behavior. Your dentist can provide you with a customized mouthguard to wear overnight to protect your teeth from grinding that may occur as you sleep.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Bacteria in your mouth produce a film of plaque over your teeth that can eat away at tooth enamel if not removed promptly. Good oral hygiene habits, which include flossing daily and brushing teeth twice a day, keep your teeth cleared of plaque build-up.
With strong tooth enamel, your teeth can resist major dental concerns, including gum disease. Advanced stages of gum disease can lead to tooth loss, which can cause teeth to move to the point of orthodontic relapse. Proper oral hygiene regimens can help avoid this problem.
Visit Your Orthodontist in Flower Mound, TX
Flower Mound Orthodontics treats crooked teeth, jaw misalignment, and other orthodontic concerns. Dr. Sankey is an orthodontist in Flower Mound, TX specializing in treating orthodontic relapse. To schedule a consultation with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 972.833.8212.