It would be nice if the benefits from wearing braces lasted forever, but sometimes that is not the case. Adults may find they experience what specialists responsible for dental braces in Houston call orthodontic relapse. Essentially, it means you need a second set of braces to fix a current dental problem, such as crowding. How do you know if you need adult braces?
What Is Orthodontic Relapse?
Orthodontic relapse refers to the shifting of teeth after a straightening treatment with dental braces. Most of the time, orthodontic relapse requires adult braces to fix the problem. Essentially, the adult braces are a touch-up treatment to restore the proper alignment of the teeth.
Not everyone who gets adult braces has an orthodontic relapse, though. Some get their first set of dental braces as an adult. The second set may also fix a problem that didn’t correct with the first braces you may have gotten in your early teens. What are some signs that you might need braces again?
New Overcrowding of Teeth
New crowding is common even if you have had braces before. The first set of braces likely went on when you were very young. After they came off, you wore a retainer at night to support the repositioning of the teeth.
By the time you become an adult, you probably left the night retainer behind. Without it, the teeth may shift back to their original spot, causing new crowding. The second set of braces is to fix the recent problem.
When the teeth shift after you stop wearing the retainer, they may leave gaps. If you see new gaps forming between your teeth, it is a sure sign that your teeth are shifting.
In properly aligned teeth, they are side-by-side. You should not see:
- Gaps between teeth
- Overlapping teeth
- Teeth that are turning in their socket
These issues show the teeth are not staying in place.
As teeth shift back, they can lead to other dental problems like gum disease. Teeth that move leave open pockets in the gum. Bacteria and plaque can fill these pockets without knowing it, putting you at risk for cavities and gum disease.
You might have bleeding when you brush. There may also be swelling or pain in the soft tissue around teeth. These are all potential indicators of gum disease.
New braces can reinforce the tooth alignment and stop the shifting. Once teeth move back in place, the pockets close.
Any soreness or jaw pain can mean a serious dental problem. Often these issues directly relate to crooked teeth or a changing bite. Any change in your jaw health can make it hard to eat or speak. You may feel the jaw joint click whenever you open your mouth, too.
Trouble Speaking or Chewing
Teeth that shift back to their original position may help it hard to chew or to speak. You may feel uncomfortable with your mouth closed because the bite alignment is off. If you find you struggle to chew your food, it’s time to make an appointment at the orthodontist to talk about your options for braces.
Find the Adult Braces You Need at Lovett Dental Conroe
Lovett Dental Conroe is full-service family dentistry. It’s the right place for Houston residents to go for their braces, whether it is the first set or the second. We also offer different brace options like clear, removable aligners or old-school fixed metal braces.
As a multi-disciplinary dental practice, we provide a variety of services, including:
At Lovett Dental Conroe, our expects staff represents some of the top dental specialists in the country. Don’t guess whether you need adult braces; call us at 936-760-2400 or go online and fill out our contact form. At Lovett Dental Conroe, we are also available for a consultation.