When you think about orthodontic treatment, what comes to mind? If you’re thinking of a teen with a mouthful of braces, you’re not alone! Most patients are teens, but as treatment options become more discreet, comfortable, and flexible, more and more adults are turning to KBL Orthodontics for treatment. Many of those adults already had braces when they were teens, but over time their smiles lost their shape. If this sounds like you, keep reading to learn all about our retreatment options for adults so you can take back your straight smile – and the confidence that goes along with it!
Did My Smile Shift?
Your First Round with Treatment
If we ask you to think about orthodontic treatment, you probably think about a mouth full of braces. Maybe you picture a series of clear aligners like Invisalign. What you probably aren’t imagining is a retainer, which is why many people end up needing a second round of braces.
Contrary to popular belief, orthodontic treatment doesn’t end when your braces come off. Usually, treatment comes in two parts: active treatment and retention. Active treatment includes the duration of time you spend wearing your braces or clear aligners. Retention begins when active treatment ends.
Forgot to Wear Your Retainer?
The retention phase of orthodontics is just as important as active treatment. When your braces finally come off, your teeth may shift slightly without the appliance there to hold them in place. This natural process is called orthodontic relapse, and at KBL Orthodontics, we do our best to prevent it as much as possible.
If you forgot to wear your retainer as a teen, you’re not alone. We recommend that you wear your retainer for 22 hours per day for a year after treatment and at night for the rest of your life, but many adult patients seek treatment because they neglected their retainers after treatment. Without the retainer, your teeth could end up facing short-term or long-term relapse.
Short-term relapse: This type of orthodontic relapse is most likely to occur soon after we remove your braces. If your teeth shift less than one year after orthodontic treatment is complete, you’re experiencing a short-term relapse.
Long-term relapse: This type of orthodontic relapse happens long after you’ve finished treatment. If your teeth begin to appear crooked a year or more after treatment, you’re experiencing a long-term relapse.
Wearing your retainer is a huge part of avoiding orthodontic relapse! Whether removable or permanent, these appliances play a major factor in how straight your teeth remain once treatment brings them to a baseline.
Without wearing your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist, your teeth will likely shift into their original positions over time. In some cases, they can shift in as little as a few days; in some cases, it takes years. Either way, you may need a second round of treatment to pull them back into line to give you a straight smile you’ll love.
How We Treat Orthodontic Relapse
Treatment: Round Two
If you’re dealing with long-term or major relapse, your best treatment method is a second round of braces or Invisalign. Don’t let that thought scare you! Because you’ve already had braces, you’ll enjoy a shorter treatment duration.
You’ll also be in good company: one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 18. With modern technology at work, KBL Orthodontics offers the most comfortable and discreet treatment options available, including:
Invisalign: Our Invisalign treatment is a great option for adult patients looking to straighten their smile without the bulky brackets and wires of braces. Using a series of clear aligner trays custom-made to fit your unique smile, Invisalign straightens your teeth with comfort and ease.
Depending on your orthodontic condition, Invisalign may be a great option for adults looking to straighten their smile without attracting notice.
Metal Braces: This treatment method is excellent for patients with moderate to severe orthodontic issues. They’re a durable and reliable option that ensures your treatment runs smoothly and effectively. With a system of brackets and wires, these braces straighten your teeth by applying constant, gentle pressure.
Clear Braces: Like metal braces, this treatment option uses a system of brackets and wires to straighten your teeth and is effective for patients with moderate to severe orthodontic issues. Instead of metal braces, however, clear braces use white ceramic brackets that match the color of your teeth, so your treatment is less visible.
If you’re dealing with a short-term or minor relapse, a new retainer may set your teeth straight again! With only slight movement, your teeth are usually close enough to straight that minor adjustments can fix the problem quickly.
If you’ve lost your retainer or if your old one no longer works, Dr. Katie can custom-design a new retainer to shift your teeth in line. If your bottom teeth are the issue, we might recommend a fixed retainer.
Take Back Your Smile
With so many adult patients returning to orthodontics to get the smile touch-ups they need, it’s time to schedule your free consultation to do the same thing! Dr. Katie is an expert orthodontist with years of experience giving patients in Dothan the smiles they deserve. Life is too short to stop grinning because of crooked teeth – let our office take care of your treatment!