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You heard your orthodontist loud and clear when they told you about the importance of wearing your retainer after treatment. For years, you may have listened diligently to their advice, but you fell behind in keeping up with it. Now you have noticed your teeth have shifted slightly and you’re unsure about what to do next. Is it too late to dig out your retainer and start wearing it again? Are you in for more orthodontic treatment? The answer won’t be apparent until you visit your orthodontist first.

Why Teeth Shift

Our teeth are always on the move, which is why it’s important that you follow your orthodontist’s instructions after your braces have been removed or you’ve completed treatment with Invisalign. There are many reasons why our teeth shift, which vary based on the individual. These reasons include:

  • Losing teeth
  • Eruption of wisdom teeth
  • Grinding teeth
  • Genetics

Although everyone is unique, it’s important to be aware of changes in the positioning of your teeth. If your teeth have shifted, don’t ignore it. Failure to address shifting teeth can result in even more shifting as time goes on.

Wearing Your Retainer

Your retainer helps to protect your teeth from shifting once you’ve finished orthodontic treatment. If you’ve gotten lazy about wearing your retainer, now is the time to re-think this. If you can locate your retainer and easily fit it back into your mouth, start wearing it regularly again. However, if your retainer no longer fits in your mouth, too much shifting may have occurred and a visit to your orthodontist is recommended. It’s important that you don’t try to force the retainer back into your mouth as this can result in damage to the retainer and to your teeth.

Additional Orthodontic Treatment

It may seem as though your teeth have only shifted a little bit, but you may be surprised to learn they have shifted more than you realized. If this is the case, additional orthodontic treatment may be required to get your teeth back in alignment. Most often, treatment will not last as long as it initially did, but every situation varies. That’s why it’s imperative to speak with your orthodontist to determine your next steps. They will evaluate your smile to see how much shifting has occurred and will come up with a plan to get you back on track.

As you become more familiar with the orthodontic process, you may start to realize just how important it is to wear your retainer and listen to the instructions your orthodontist has given you following treatment. Although life can get busy and stressful, taking a moment at the end of the day to remember your retainer is an important step in your post-treatment responsibilities. After all, you worked hard to get to this point, so enjoy all of your hard work and dedication to your treatment.

At Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, our team is ready to help you achieve and maintain the spectacular smile you’ve always wanted! Call (843) 4-BRACES to learn more.