It is certainly a happy day when braces are removed resulting in a very pround patient who cannot stop smiling. Retainers are placed and everyone is so pleased. On rare occasions a patient may notice minor tooth movement after the braces are removed.
There are at least four main causes of tooth movement after treatment. I will review just one today. Unfortunately the primary reason normally can be traced back to lack of normal retainer wear. Full time wear is so essential for an extended period of time to allow the healing of bone immediately surrounding the corrected teeth. Normal bone healing in the body occurs over a 3 to 6 month period and this is similar bone surrounding teeth. .
Orthodontic retainers should be worn full time for at least 4-6months. Following full time wear the patient insures continued alignment by wearing the retainers at night during sleep indefinitely. Long term retainer wear reduces excess pressure to the teeth brought on by normal bruxing or grinding that occurs especially during deep sleep.
Certainly there are other causes for post-orth tooth movement and I will review them in future blogs every month. Keep on smiling. Smiles for a lifetime!