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Crooked Teeth After Braces

Crooked Teeth After Braces? No Problem

You made the decision to have your teeth fixed and invested in the cost of braces. Unfortunately the new position of your teeth did not last. It may take years, but teeth often shift back into their former position. Pearlee Dental Clinic wants you to know more about what can be done if this issue is one you are facing.

Maybe the retainer has not been worn as recommended. Orthodontic relapse may occur if the retainer is not worn properly; in the case of shifting happening years after, missing teeth, gum disease, growing wisdom teeth and TMJ may cause teeth to shift again. Since everyone has a differently shaped mouth and gums, reasons for the shift may vary.

However, there is good news for those who have crooked teeth again. Teeth can be moved back into place after a relapse. Additionally, a relapse can be prevented.

The Reason That Teeth May Relapse

What are some of the reasons that teeth may shift after braces? They might be affected by daily wear and tear. With the daily pressure from chewing, smiling, sneezing or clenching your teeth, your teeth may shift back into place. Uneven pressure may add to the mix.

Some other reasons that teeth may shift back into place include the following:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Tooth loss
  • Threat of wisdom teeth that have not been removed
  • Gum disease

These can all cause shifting of teeth and turn straight teeth into crooked ones. Addressing these issues may be the first step in resolving the problem of shifting teeth after you have worn braces.

Grinding your teeth, called bruxism, when you sleep might add pressure after you have stopped wearing braces. Clenching and grinding your teeth may be the result of stress or habit. Teeth are built to handle pressure, but when too much is applied, they will seek the relief by moving into a position that is more comfortable. However, that position may be less sightly from a viewpoint of your smile.

It may take four to six months for teeth to solidify after the removal of braces. Retainers worn at night may help to prevent the relapse that is common after braces. Additionally, your bite may be pushing your teeth back into position unless your functional orthodontic treatment corrected this. Orthodontics has the goal of aligning the bite line and correcting overbites and underbites as well as crooked teeth.

What Do Retainers Do?

A retainer may help stabilize teeth while new bone tissue builds around them. This solidifying their new positions; retainers help keep teeth straight. The retainer, when worn overnight, may help keep the position of the straightened teeth. They are called retainers, as they help retain and maintain the tooth alignment after braces are removed.

After braces have been removed, the retainer is the next step. But what happens when it has been years since the braces were removed, and the teeth are starting to shift back?

Invisalign May Help If New Braces Are Needed

Adults may also notice that their teeth have shifted over time, allowing for spaces in which plaque can build up. This may cause gum problems or tooth decay.

If your teeth have already relapsed, it might be time for new orthodontic treatment. However, the route to straight teeth will be shorter this time. In much less time than your original braces took, straight teeth can be the result by using Invisalign. Sometimes the Invisalign Express is used for teeth that have relapsed; it can be done in 5 stages.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Aligners?

According to the University of Illinois Chicago, you, as an adult, will see both advantages and disadvantages of using aligners for teeth that have shifted. These include the following considerations:


  • Not visible like metal braces
  • Less irritation to cheeks and gums
  • Removable; taken out before eating and drinking, other than water
  • Shorter treatment time


  • Teeth must be brushed every time trays are removed
  • Treatment plan will require a specific amount of time to wear them
  • Many other tooth issues are not solved
  • New sets require visits to the orthodontist

Some Other Options For Solving Crooked Teeth Again

You can do nothing; this is an option if you do not want to get aligners. Instead, you can get a retainer and hope the teeth will not relapse more.

Braces again are an option. There are ceramic, tooth coloured choices as well as brackets that are placed on the inside of the tooth. This makes them less visible.

Clear removable aligners, such as Invisalign, mentioned above. They can move and straighten the teeth.

Veneers can be used to cover the teeth that are crooked, making them look straight. These are made from ceramic or resin.

Your Choices

You will need to consult with your dentist to discuss the options available when teeth have moved back into a crooked position. An orthodontist can help you find the right solution for your particular needs and budget.

You may be working or teaching and do not want the look of braces again. This is where aligners may prove valuable. Sometimes retainers are worn for the rest of a person’s life. In other cases, braces may be worn that are invisible or hidden. There are options that are available besides the metal braces that were in use years ago (and are now still used.)

Schedule a visit to Pearlee Dental to discuss the options that might be right for you if you have teeth that have shifted back after wearing braces. Our Riverside dental clinic in Ottawa is convenient for those who want holistic dentistry and family dental care in Ottawa. We serve both children and adults and can answer your orthodontic questions as well as help your teeth be their best.

Our complete orthodontic services are in-clinic, so you won’t need to go elsewhere. Braces and retainer are done by the same caring people who clean and take care of your teeth. It may be time to have those crooked teeth fixed for a better smile and healthier mouth. Contact us today for your appointment.