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Braces fix two very common and very important oral health issues — misaligned teeth and a bad bite. Both of these issues are perfectly natural and usually don’t result from any mistake you made. Everyone’s teeth are a bit different and some just grow in a way that isn’t healthy or sustainable. The great news is that braces will bring those teeth back to a normal position allowing for a healthier bite and making it much easier to brush and floss without missing a spot. One thing many patients wonder is what will happen to their teeth after braces are off. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at why teeth begin to move back to their original position after braces are off and how to avoid this.

Why Do Teeth Move?

Just about every natural process on the planet takes the path of least resistance. Take a look at a river, for example, they’re rarely ever perfectly straight. Instead, they meander around. But why do they do this? Obviously, gravity plays a major role, however, water is always going to follow a path that has the least resistance. Although gravity isn’t playing a huge role with your teeth, the effect is similar. Your jaw, gums, and teeth are comprised of thousands of muscles, fibers, and structures, all of which vary from person to person. When you bite down or chew, over time, your teeth are going to settle into one place. Since everyone has different sized jaws and varying amounts of teeth, some people will experience more misalignment than others.

Another reason teeth move is for developmental reasons. If you think about it, a lot of changes take place in your mouth as you get older and grow. When you are a baby, you have baby teeth. These baby teeth are eventually pushed out by your adult teeth, then sometime after, your wisdom teeth come in. Many people don’t have jaws big enough to accommodate these new molars and as a result, they could cause your teeth to become crowded or become twisted.

Eventually, after all of these changes have taken place, your teeth settle into the position that is most natural based on your genetic characteristics and development. For some, this could mean having perfectly straight teeth, while for others it could mean very misaligned teeth that pose a serious oral health risk. Although braces are designed to bring them back to a healthier position, they won’t stay that way unless you wear an aligner. However, due to the way braces change the structure of your mouth, not everyone’s teeth will move straight back to where they started.

How To Keep Them Straight

If you’ve never had braces before, now might be the time to consider them. Even if the misalignment is minimal, your oral health could be taking a huge toll. For example, if one tooth is twisted or bent, there may be a lot of pressure put on it when you bite down or chew. Over time, this can lead to loss of bone in the jaw or damage to the tooth, eventually leading to loss of the tooth. If the misalignment is only on one row of teeth, your orthodontist may advise applying braces to only the top or the bottom teeth. If you only need braces on the bottom teeth, lingual braces are a great option because they’ll correct your alignment without anyone even noticing they’re there.

If you’ve had braces in the past, your orthodontist may make a new aligner for you or advise you that you have braces reapplied.

Speak With Our San Francisco Orthodontists

There are many reasons why you may need orthodontic treatment at any point in your life, and if you had braces in the past, it’s not unusual for someone to have braces reapplied in adulthood in order to return their teeth to a straight position. Here at Camilo Riano Orthodontics, we’ll be straightforward and transparent about all the options available to you as well as keep you informed about your overall oral health and how braces could improve it. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call today.