What is Orthodontic Relapse?

What is Orthodontic Relapse?

Ideally, the corrections made by braces should last a lifetime. However, a number of factors, including wisdom teeth emergence, accidental trauma, bite misalignment, or incomplete braces treatment can cause teeth to move toward their original position, reversing prior corrections made by the first round of braces. Patients can find themselves facing the possibility of a second round of orthodontic treatment in order to correct this dental relapse.

Preventing Orthodontic Relapse

While initial orthodontic treatment can help prevent dental and overall health problems from seriously impacting your smile, untreated orthodontic relapse can quickly put individuals back at risk of problems, such as bruxism, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and sleep apnea. To help mitigate these potential problems, there are several proactive steps patients can take before, during, and after braces treatment, including:

Undergo Braces Early

While braces during adulthood are still effective, treatment can often come with higher rates of relapse, unless the jaw issues and teeth position are also corrected. Braces during childhood, such as phase one orthodontics, can help ensure the bone develops correctly, preventing future bite problems. At The Dental Clinic, we encourage parents to bring in their children for an orthodontic evaluation around the age of seven.

Follow Treatment Precisely

While there are a number of advantages that come with removable braces, like Invisalign®, these treatments are highly dependent on patient compliance in order to be successful. Forgetting to wear the aligning trays for the required time per day as well as forgetting to swap out trays according to a predetermined treatment plan can not only lengthen treatment time, but also increase the risk of unsuccessful treatment. With this in mind, it is critical that patients follow their treatment instructions precisely and visit our Lincoln Park Invisalign® dentist regularly to ensure proper treatment progress.

Wear a Retainer

One of the most common contributors to relapse is failure to wear a retainer following orthodontic treatment. As teeth are held in place by ligaments, retainers are designed to help stabilize teeth in their new position as the bone and periodontal ligaments fully develop around teeth, making this appliance critical to long-term treatment success. With this in mind, patients should wear their retaining devices as prescribed by their dentist.

At The Dental Clinic, we are passionate about helping all patients achieve and maintain their dream smiles. For patients facing orthodontic relapse, Drs. Shackleford, Galayda, and Collins work closely to find lasting solutions that return your smile to its corrected position. For more information about our orthodontic and Invisalign® services, contact The Dental Clinic today and schedule your next appointment.