Orthodontic treatment is something many of us have gone through as teenagers. If you had braces as a teen, you already know there is nothing quite like the unbridled joy that comes when your braces are finally removed. However, what happens after wearing braces can be almost as challenging for many – wearing your retainers.
If you stopped wearing your retainers shortly after getting your braces off, you are not alone. For one reason or another, most young adults stop wearing their removable retainers before it is recommended. A decade later, that decision can catch up with you as your formerly straight teeth are once again crooked.
In some cases, we may need to consider orthodontic treatment again later in life, and Invisalign is an excellent option for those needing orthodontics for the second time.
Teeth shift naturally and change their position as we age. With varying effects on your smile, here are some of the most common causes of premature shifting that we see:
The most common cause of teeth shifting their position is not following through with your retainers. Orthodontists give strict instructions for how to wear and care for your removable plastic retainers to maintain your new smile and prevent it from shifting. The natural progression of teeth is for them to move back towards their original positions, causing your teeth to slowly become more crooked over time.
If you start to feel an ache in the back of your jaw, it is best to head to your dentist or orthodontist to determine if your wisdom teeth are beginning to erupt. A professional is the only one who can assess how these troublesome teeth might affect your smile. If your mouth does not have enough room for your wisdom teeth to erupt, the teeth will have a negative impact on your alignment and other teeth over time.
Developing bad oral habits such as chronic grinding of your teeth, known as bruxism, can put pressure on your teeth and gums. This pressure causes your teeth to shift their position faster. If your clenching and grinding are due to stress, your dentist may recommend an orthodontic device that protects your teeth from further damage.
If you had braces when you were younger but your teeth have moved a bit, and you’d like to realign them, Invisalign can help. Invisalign is a discrete solution that is ideal for mild to moderate teeth straightening. With Invisalign, you can expect unique benefits that traditional metal braces cannot offer.
Traditional metal braces typically require longer treatment time than Invisalign. If you have already had braces in the past and your teeth are needing minor cosmetic straightening, your treatment duration will generally be shorter. On average, Invisalign treatment times are between 12-18 months for most patients.
With braces, most patients need to see their orthodontist every month to assess progress, have their wires tightened, and have their rubber bands changed. With Invisalign, you may only need to see an orthodontist every six to eight weeks. Your aligners will require you to replace them every two weeks. The trays gradually shift your teeth a small amount every two weeks, allowing your teeth to transform into a new alignment over the course of your treatment duration. Fewer in-office visits mean less time lost to appointments and less inconvenience for busy schedules.
The clear aligners are virtually invisible, so wearing braces will not be the first thing someone notices about you. Unlike braces that can interfere with eating and maintaining your oral hygiene, Invisalign can be removed quickly for meals and proper cleaning.
You will likely experience some initial discomfort when you first begin Invisalign treatment and as you switch to a new aligner throughout your treatment plan. This discomfort typically fades within 24-hours. Aligners are comfortable for daily wear and are not invasive.
For more information about Invisalign and how it can help you reinstate your beautiful straight smile, contact Tompkins Dental today. Our team will help you smile with renewed confidence in an affordable way.