If you had braces as a child, you may have been promised a lifetime of straight, perfect-looking teeth. So it can be rather upsetting if you grow up and notice that some of your teeth have shifted out of position. Why does this happen, and what can you do about it?
Stay in Place
There are a couple of likely reasons why your teeth shifted after your braces treatment.
The first is that people need to wear retainers after they get out of braces, typically for at least a full year. This is because the teeth — especially with children — are more malleable in their position after they've been moved by braces. Without the retainer, they can end up drifting back in the former direction, resulting in a crooked smile. So if you didn't faithfully wear your retainer as a kid, this may be what happened.
Alternatively, you may have had or still have some bad habits that caused your teeth to shift. For example, chewing on pencils or biting your nails can do this. Braces can't fix what happens after they've been taken off, after all.
Overbites and Underbites
The good news here is that if you had an overbite or underbite as a child and were treated for it with braces, it's likely that your improvements in that regard haven't changed. It's more difficult for the jaw to shift position than it is for individual teeth to. This is important, because it means you have more options now than you did when you were a kid wearing braces.
What to Do
The best option for you at this point is to get invisible braces. Invisible braces are nearly impossible to see once they're on your teeth, which may help you to feel more confident at work or when doing things like going on dates. They can also be removed when you eat, so you don't have to give up your favorite foods like you may have as a child with braces.
Furthermore, when you're done with your straightening process, you can just keep wearing the last pair of invisible braces as a retainer when you go to sleep at night. This will prevent your teeth from shifting back again and will help you to keep that perfect smile in all the decades to come.
Just because your teeth have shifted a bit after having braces as a kid doesn't mean that you have to start all over again. You'll likely see a much shorter treatment time and can benefit from invisible braces, so talk to an orthodontist. Contact a dental office like Accent On Dentistry - Rowena R Martir DMD to learn more.