Teeth Shifting After Braces: Is it Normal?

Getting orthodontic work done is one of the best things you can do for your smile. This corrective work will restore your natural bite, correct any crooked or crowded teeth, and leave you with a gorgeous smile that you can be proud of for life. It’s important to be prepared for what will happen once your treatment is complete and the braces/Invisalign are off. Your orthodontic provider may have talked to you already about wearing a retainer to keep your teeth straight. Will your teeth shift after orthodontic treatment? Here’s how you can know what’s normal and what’s not.

Shifting Will Happen

Shifting is a normal part of the process when your orthodontic work is completed. Your teeth have been held firmly into place by the braces/Invisalign for some time now, so the removal of these sturdy brackets and wires will lead to a bit of shifting. Your teeth will be settling into their positions now that the braces are gone, and this is just what should happen. During this time, it’s absolutely essential that you wear your retainer. This will prevent too much shifting and keep the teeth in their correct position while the settling process is happening.

Wear Your Retainer

Your retainer was specially fitted for your unique mouth. The retainer is a crucial part of your treatment, and perhaps the most important—it will keep your newly adjusted smile looking just as it did when the brace or Invisalign aligners were on. The retainer will help keep your teeth in place to prevent any abnormal shifting. Your orthodontic provider may have informed you that you’ll need to wear your retainer every night for the rest of your life. This is because teeth can shift naturally over time, and you’ll need your retainer as a gentle reminder to tell your teeth where they belong.

What to Look Out For

If you neglect to wear your retainer even for a few nights—especially soon after your braces come off—your teeth could shift to the point that the retainer no longer fits. At this point, you’ll need to go back to your orthodontic provider to see if he or she can fit your mouth with another retainer or if you need additional treatment.

Your retainer should be comfortable and fit your mouth appropriately. Your orthodontic provider should check that it fits well before you leave the office with your new smile. If for any reason your retainer doesn’t fit well or feel right, talk to your orthodontic provider about getting an adjustment.

If you’re having major shifting after your orthodontic treatment is completed, this isn’t normal and is a cause for concern. Your orthodontic provider can help you figure out what’s going on and correct the problem. Your teeth will naturally settle with the help of your retainer, but always be sure to look out for abnormal shifting or problems with your retainer if you’re wearing as prescribed.

Keeping your teeth beautiful and straight after the braces come off is easy when you follow your orthodontic provider’s instructions. Teeth shifting after braces/Invisalign is normal, but the shifting should be minor and you should still be able to comfortably wear your retainer. Talk to your orthodontic provider if you’re having any issues—don’t wait!