What to Do If Your Teeth Shift After Braces


The most exciting appointment for most of our patients is the day that the braces come off, when you finally get to see how all that time and effort has finally paid off. Exciting though it is, it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of orthodontic treatment; you have to wear your retainers for as long as you want your teeth to remain in place.

Teeth Shifting After Braces

Uh oh. Did you forget to wear your retainers? It was only a week, maybe two... But now your teeth have shifted! Maybe it was a quick move back to the way they were before, or perhaps the move was slow, but now your retainers don’t fit. Don’t worry and don’t try to force them onto your teeth. Call the team at Stroope Orthodontics!

You may require additional orthodontic treatment. The good news is that your teeth can be moved back into place after shifting (called relapse) and we can work together to prevent future shifts. 

After Relapse

If your teeth have shifted after braces, getting them back to where you want doesn’t usually take as long as your initial orthodontic treatment. If your case of orthodontic relapse has been untreated for a long period of time, you might need braces reinstalled to fix it. The best way to avoid this is to notify Dr. Stroope as soon as you notice any shifting so she can correct it easily.

If you’ve acted fast upon your orthodontic relapse, re-straightening out your smile might be accomplished with Invisalign.

Fixed Retainers

After straightening your smile, your discipline in wearing your retainers is hugely important. Sometimes though, your teeth might have a very strong tendency to shift. In these cases, Dr. Stroope might install fixed retainers. Fixed retainers are fitted on the backs of teeth and cannot be removed or reinserted. Made of thin wire and secured with dental cement, a fixed retainer will hold your teeth in place 24/7.

Although you don’t have to remember to put your fixed retainers in, these types of retainers do require a little extra work in cleaning. Remember how you used a floss threader to help floss around your braces? You’ll need to keep up those habits. If you need a refresher in how to do so, check out our guide to cleaning braces and don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any further questions.

If you feel like your teeth have shifted after braces, don’t wait to give Stroope Orthodontics a call! The sooner you let us know, the sooner we can figure out the best way to get your smile looking and functioning at its best.