So you used to have a straight smile, but now when you look in the mirror, your teeth are crooked once again. This is a more common occurrence than you might think! Up to 50% of people experience an orthodontic relapse following treatment earlier in their lives. This condition can be a source of major frustration, but don’t worry! Jennings Orthodontics is here to tell you all about retreatment options for adults who need to reboot their smiles. Keep reading to find out what Dr. Jennings can do to help!
All About Orthodontic Relapse
Treatment in Two Parts
If we ask you to think about orthodontic treatment, you probably think about a mouth full of braces. Maybe you picture a series of clear aligners like Invisalign. What you probably aren’t imagining is a retainer, which is why many people face second-round treatment.
Contrary to popular belief, orthodontic treatment doesn’t end when your braces come off. Usually, treatment comes in two parts: active treatment and retention. Active treatment includes the duration of time you spend wearing your braces or clear aligners. Retention begins when active treatment ends.
Types of Orthodontic Relapse
The retention phase of orthodontics is just as important as active treatment. When your braces finally come off, your teeth may shift slightly without the appliance there to hold them in place. This natural process is called orthodontic relapse, and at Jennings Orthodontics, we do our best to prevent it as much as possible.
Long-term relapse: This type of orthodontic relapse happens long after you’ve finished treatment. If your teeth begin to appear crooked a year or more after treatment, you’re experiencing a long-term relapse.
Short-term relapse: This type of orthodontic relapse is most likely to occur soon after we remove your braces. If your teeth shift less than one year after orthodontic treatment is complete, you’re experiencing a short-term relapse.
Wearing your retainer is a huge part of avoiding orthodontic relapse! Whether removable or permanent, these appliances play a major factor in how straight your teeth remain once treatment brings them to a baseline.
Without wearing your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist, your teeth will likely shift into their original positions over time. In some cases, they can shift in as little as a few days; in some cases, it takes years. Either way, you may need a second round of treatment to pull them back into line to give you a straight smile you’ll love.
What are the benefits of retreatment?
The idea of retreatment can feel overwhelming, but there are good reasons for addressing your orthodontic relapse! The first is improved oral health. Crowded teeth create crevices where food particles can accumulate, leading to plaque and tartar buildup. Properly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean with a good dental hygiene routine.
Adult retreatment can give you back the smile you worked so hard for the first time, making you feel more confident in your daily life. Moreover, correcting a relapse often takes much less time than your original treatment. Whether you choose braces or aligner treatment with Jennings Orthodontics to correct your orthodontic relapse, the results will be more than worth it when you recognize your smile in the mirror again.
Watching your teeth slowly shift back to their old positions can be upsetting, but our Jennings Orthodontics team is here to help. There are several potential treatment routes to ease your smile back in shape.
If you’re dealing with a short-term or minor relapse, a new retainer may set your teeth straight again! With only slight movement, your teeth are usually close enough to straight that minor adjustments can fix the problem quickly.
If you’ve lost your retainer or if your old one no longer works, Dr. Jennings can custom-design a new retainer to shift your teeth in line. If your bottom teeth are the issue, we might recommend a fixed retainer.
If you’re dealing with long-term or major relapse, your best treatment method is the second round of braces or Invisalign. Don’t let that thought scare you! Because you’ve already had braces, you’ll enjoy a shorter treatment duration.
You’ll also be in good company: one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 18. With modern technology at work, Jennings Orthodontics offers the most comfortable and discreet treatment options available, including:
Metal Braces: This treatment method is excellent for patients with moderate to severe orthodontic issues. They’re a durable and reliable option that ensures your treatment runs smoothly and effectively. With a system of brackets and wires, these braces straighten your teeth by applying constant, gentle pressure.
Clear Braces: Like metal braces, this treatment option uses a system of brackets and wires to straighten your teeth and is effective for patients with moderate to severe orthodontic issues. Instead of metal braces, however, clear braces use white ceramic brackets that match the color of your teeth, so your treatment is less visible.
Invisalign: Our Invisalign treatment is a great option for adult patients looking to straighten their smile without the bulky brackets and wires of braces. Using a series of clear aligner trays custom-made to fit your unique smile, Invisalign straightens your teeth with comfort and ease.
Choose Jennings Orthodontics!
We know how frustrating it can be to watch your smile lose its shape over time, especially when you worked so hard to get it in the first place! Our team at Jennings Orthodontics is here to help you take back your grin and start feeling confident again.