How to Avoid Needing Braces Again Later in Life
Millions of teens turn to orthodontics, specifically braces, to straighten their teeth and make their smiles more beautiful. Braces are a safe, proven way to achieve permanent results. Or are they? As it turns out, teeth can move around after braces come off. Depending on how much they move, you could find yourself needing braces again later in life. What can you do to avoid that?
Keep Going to Your Orthodontist
This might sound a bit strange, but your mouth remembers where your teeth used to be. Keep your teeth from returning to their old places by seeing your orthodontist for check-up visits after your braces are off. Your orthodontist will check your teeth to see if they’ve moved and make sure your retainer is fitting properly. Not sure how frequently you should see your orthodontist? Just ask them.
Wear a Retainer
Getting your braces removed doesn’t mean you’re all done with orthodontic appliances. You’ll spend a fair amount of time using a retainer after the braces are off. Retainers help your teeth from shifting again after you have your braces removed. Like braces, retainers aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. There are different types of retainers, all of which fall into one of two categories: removable or permanent. Permanent retainers, also called lingual wire, fixed, or bonded retainers, are installed on the backs of your teeth so they aren’t seen. Hawley retainers and clear plastic retainers are both removable. Wear yours as directed so your teeth don’t shift.
Take Preventive Action
Sometimes it’s the small, simple things that make the biggest difference. Aside from wearing your retainer as directed, reduce the risk of your teeth moving by taking good care of them. Proper oral hygiene practices reduce your risk of gum disease, a condition that could cause your teeth to shift. Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth, as the pressure from those actions can also cause teeth to shift. Use a mouthguard at night to protect your teeth if you struggle with either of those things while you sleep.
Wearing braces isn’t something that most teens find enjoyable, as lovely as the results may be afterward. Commit now to taking the necessary steps to avoid needing braces again later in life. While you can’t account for everything in life that could change the alignment of your teeth (no one plans to get injured, after all), you can take steps that significantly reduce your risk.
Check out this article on what happens when you don’t take care of cavities!