Had Braces As a Kid? Why You May Need Them Again

Here at Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, we often get patients who are unhappy with the straightness of their teeth, despite having worn braces as a teen. It seems unfair to many adults who endured one or two years of “metal mouth” only to find their smiles – sometimes years down the road — less than perfect.

Is it normal for teeth to move after braces are taken off? And, more importantly, what can be done to prevent this?

One of the most crucial aspects to a successful orthodontic treatment is what you do after the braces come off. That’s right, we’re talking about your retainer, which should be worn nightly for a prescribed time period to keep teeth in position. Most kids are so thrilled to be free of metal contraptions that retainer compliance rates are low. For those who didn’t wear their retainer or stopped using it prematurely, it’s not unusual for the teeth to shift back out of alignment.

How long do retainers need to be worn?

For retainers to do their job correctly, they should actually be worn for the rest of your life! This is neither practical or convenient for most people, which is why they eventually find their way into the bottom of your closet. Retainers ensure that your bite stays in place after orthodontics. After your braces are removed, your teeth will continue to move, slowly shifting inward or outward throughout your lifetime.  Properly fitted retainers help to minimize this movement, keeping your new and improved smile picture perfect.

Why do teeth move?

Even if you were a stellar patient and wore your retainer diligently after braces, your teeth can still shift with time. This is because our bite changes ever so slightly as we get older. The width and space inside of your mouth is affected by your changing facial muscles and jaw muscles which exert pressure on the teeth. In some cases, the teeth move into misalignment again, leading to aesthetic and functional problems.

Fortunately, there is good news for those who need braces a second time around. Effective orthodontic treatment no longer entails a mouthful or wires and headgear at night, thanks to the Invisalign system.

Correcting teeth with Invisalign

If you had braces as a kid and now find yourself with crooked teeth, Invisalign is a discreet and comfortable way to improve your smile as an adult. Using 3D computer technology, your Suffolk County Invisalign provider will have clear plastic trays custom made to fit over your teeth. The transparent aligners are hardly noticeable, making them advantageous to working professionals who don’t relish the idea of a mouthful of metal. Another major advantage of this teeth straightening system is the fact that the Invisalign trays are removable, letting patients pop them out during meals, for brushing and flossing, as well as for the special occasion.

Invisalign also depends on patient compliance, as the trays need to be worn for a minimum of 20-22 hours a day to ensure optimal results.

Cosmetic dentistry in Suffolk County

Whether you didn’t wear your retainer as a teen, or need a second round of orthodontic treatment, you can still achieve a dazzling smile the second time around! Invisalign has helped thousands of adults get the smile they’ve always dreamed of, without the discomfort or hassle of traditional braces.

Contact Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry for a free consultation about your smile makeover. Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick will outline the best treatment options to achieve your goals. Call 631.296.0588 today!

Additional Resources:

  1. Lavender Magazine, Do You Think You’re Too Old For Orthodontics? Think Again! https://www.lavendermagazine.com/our-lives/do-you-think-youre-too-old-for-orthodontics-think-again/
  2. Invisalign, Why Invisalign https://www.invisalign.com/
  3. Cosmopolitan, The Surprising Reason Why You Might Need Adult Braces http://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/how-to/a17118/adult-braces/

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Ava Lawson

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