Did you have orthodontic treatment when you were younger but have lost your perfectly straight smile over the years? If so, you’re not alone! Here at Koerich Orthodontics, we hear from adults every day who miss the way their teeth once looked and want to know if we can help them find the beautifully aligned smile they had in their teens. We can! The retreatment options we offer from our Charlotte and Indian Trail offices are the perfect way to touch up your teeth and improve your oral health. Keep reading below to learn more about adult retreatment with Dr. Leo and Dr. Lindsey!
What causes teeth to shift over time?
When teeth begin shifting back to their original positions after a patient has had braces or clear aligners, we refer to it as orthodontic relapse. This phenomenon occurs in almost half of all orthodontic patients within about ten years post-treatment. You may experience a short-term relapse less than one year after your treatment has concluded or a long-term relapse if more than a year has passed.
Unfortunately, many patients underestimate the importance of regular retainer use. This is why the most common cause of orthodontic relapse is not wearing a retainer as directed once treatment is complete! Once the active phase of treatment has finished, the teeth, surrounding bone, and gums will still need a bit of time to solidify in the new places. Wearing your retainer regularly helps protect the teeth from shifting and also assists with long-term stabilization.
Not using a retainer properly isn’t the only factor involved with orthodontic relapse. For example, chronic tooth grinding produces a continuous force that can strain your teeth, altering the bite and causing misalignment. It’s also normal for your teeth to experience some shifting as you get older. The front teeth are particularly susceptible to shifting under pressure due to the thinning enamel on the surface.
How can retreatment help restore a previously straightened smile?
Our practice offers touch-ups and retreatments along with full orthodontic treatment for adults who have never had it before. When you schedule a complimentary consultation with us, you’ll receive an oral examination from one of our orthodontic providers. Dr. Leo and Dr. Lindsey will help you determine which elements of your smile are most important to you, then create a customized treatment plan to help you meet your goals.
There are a few different options available for treating orthodontic relapse. If you’ve worn your retainer as directed and have noticed only minor shifting, we may be able to leave things as they are for the moment while monitoring your teeth for any further shifting. Some minor movements will need to be corrected. We can sometimes accomplish this with a new or replacement retainer. Touch-up treatment is also an option. Because it’s limited in nature, our expert team can complete touch-up treatment in a much shorter timeframe and at less cost than full treatment!
If our doctors discover that you’re suffering from a fairly significant orthodontic relapse, retreatment may be recommended. You may be hesitant to wear braces again in adulthood, but don’t worry! We offer adult patients a variety of treatment options to correct relapses, including the following.
Metal braces are one of the most popular treatment options and are available for patients of all ages. Today’s braces are much more comfortable than they used to be and can even be customized with fun-colored elastics! Traditional braces deliver excellent results and can be especially helpful in more severe or complicated cases.
Ceramic braces function the same way metal braces do but come with the additional benefit of semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets. These blend exceptionally well with your natural smile, especially when paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties. This makes them an especially attractive choice for our older teen and adult patients!
Self-ligating brackets come with spring-loaded doors, so there’s no need for ties and bands. They don’t require tightening, either! That means they’re virtually painless, and your teeth can move freely without the added pressure of ties holding the archwires in place.
Lingual braces are a great cosmetic alternative to traditional braces as the brackets are attached to the back sides of the teeth, instead of the front. They work in the same way as traditional braces by applying gentle, continuous pressure to your teeth to slowly shift them into their new positions.
Instead of brackets and wires, the Invisalign system uses a series of customized clear aligners to move the teeth over time. The aligners are designed to be removed when a patient is eating and brushing their teeth. They can also be removed for short periods. This offers an extra measure of flexibility that our adult patients love! When worn as directed, Invisalign can be just as efficient as braces at treating many of the most common orthodontic issues.
Get your smile back on track with Koerich Orthodontics
Whether your teeth need a few touch-ups or a full round of treatment, the expert team at Koerich Orthodontics has got you covered! If you’re ready to get your smile back on track, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Leo or Dr. Lindsey. It’s time to rediscover your most confident smile!