Have you undergone orthodontic treatment during your childhood or teenage years, only to notice your teeth gradually returning to their previous positions? This is more common than you think.
Orthodontic relapse refers to the teeth reverting to their original positions after orthodontic treatment, whether with braces or clear aligners. There are a few factors that might contribute to this relapse.
The most common cause of orthodontic relapse is non-compliance with retainer usage. If teeth are not sufficiently held in place after the completion of orthodontic treatment, the teeth are prone to gradually shift back to their initial positions, leading to a progressive relapse over the years.
Retention post orthodontic treatment is an important step which involves custom-made fixed and removable retainers. These retainers serve a dual purpose; not only do they play an important role in settling the teeth into their newly aligned positions, but they also act as a safeguard against any unwanted movement. The retention process is essential, as it also helps prevent the natural shifting of teeth that comes with the aging process. By consistently and diligently wearing retainers, you can safeguard the results of your orthodontic treatment, minimising the likelihood of relapse and ensuring the longevity of the achieved dental alignment.
Age related Changes
As you age, a natural process of teeth shifting can occur. Despite any previous orthodontic treatment, there is a common occurrence where the back teeth gradually shift forward over time. This gradual movement reduces the available space for the front teeth, causing them to become crowded.
This natural tendency for teeth to shift, especially in the posterior (back), can alter the overall alignment of your teeth. Even if you've undergone prior treatments to achieve a desirable result, the aging process may introduce changes that affect the alignment. Orthodontic retention can help reduce the natural shifting of teeth that accompanies the aging process.
Our genetic makeup has a significant influence on our dental health, affecting things like how our jaws are shaped and how our teeth line up. Some people are born with certain genetic traits that make them more likely to have issues with how their teeth align.
One common issue is having a smaller jaw. This can lead to problems like crowded or overlapping teeth. Even when braces or other orthodontic treatments help fix these problems, our genes can still have a lingering influence. After treatment, there's a tendency for the teeth to slowly return to their previous alignment, kind of like a "genetic memory" for their original positions.
When you lose one or more teeth, whether due to an accident, decay, or periodontal disease, the neighbouring teeth often start to shift towards the empty space. Over time, if this natural movement isn't addressed, it can result in the misalignment of not only the individual teeth but also the overall bite. This process can have cascading effects on the functionality and aesthetics of your smile.
In the event of orthodontic relapse, we may propose a retreatment strategy involving the use of braces or aligners. While the idea of revisiting traditional braces might make you think twice, particularly for adults, it's important to note that there is a range of invisible treatment alternatives available to address relapse effectively.
We provide a range of treatment options tailored to your preference, lifestyle, and the type of malocclusion (bite problem) that needs to be corrected, to ensure the best possible result. Our discreet orthodontic treatments include lingual (behind the teeth) braces (Incognito or WIN), clear aligners (Invisalign), and ceramic braces (LightForce).