Category: Blogs

November 16, 2023 by Gentle Dental 0 Comments

Teeth Moving After Braces: What You Need to Know

What to do if your teeth move after having braces

There is nothing like the feeling of having your braces removed. A straighter smile can give you more confidence and improve your bite. But what do you do if your teeth start to shift back into their original position?


Is it normal for teeth to move back into their original position after braces?

It is normal for teeth to shift after braces. Most people will experience some movement in their bite. Some people might notice a little movement right away, while others may experience movement over a longer time.

What’s not normal is for teeth to move back into their original position. This is called orthodontic relapse and is something we want to avoid. Bad oral habits and forgetting to wear your retainer can cause your teeth to move more than they should.

 

Why do teeth move after braces?

There are a few reasons why teeth shift after braces. As we age, our bone structure can change. Teeth on the bottom arch of the mouth are particularly likely to move and cause crowding, wearing and aesthetic problems later in life.

Changes in the health of your teeth and gums can also cause teeth to move. Gum disease can cause bone loss in the jaw and cause your teeth to loosen and shift.

Other reasons your teeth might move include:

  • Grinding your teeth: Grinding can cause wear and tear to the teeth and slowly cause your teeth to move out of alignment.
  • Clenching teeth: Clenching the teeth also puts stress on the teeth and may cause changes to your bite.
  • Accidents that affect the jaw or mouth: Sports injuries, or falls can cause trauma to the mouth, jaw and teeth which may push teeth out of alignment.
  • Missing teeth: If you have a missing tooth your neighbouring teeth often shift into the gap.

 

How do I prevent my teeth from shifting after braces?

The only way to stop teeth from moving after you’ve had braces is by wearing a retainer. Even if it’s been years since you had braces, you should still wear a retainer every night. Skipping wearing your retainer can undo years of orthodontic work in just a few months. To prevent this, make a habit of wearing your retainer to bed. This will keep your teeth in place and prevent any major shifts in the position of your teeth.

As well as wearing a plastic retainer at night, your dentist might suggest a fixed retainer to keep teeth in place. A fixed retainer is a small metal bar placed behind the teeth. Fixed retainers are a great choice for preventing lower teeth from moving over time.

There are no long-term effects associated with wearing a fixed retainer. Fixed retainers are discreet and can be fixed painlessly to the back of the teeth. Some people will have their fixed retainer for up to 20 years. The only downside is that fixed retainers are harder to keep clean.

If you have a fixed retainer, make sure you brush behind and floss in between the metal bar and the back of your teeth. Plaque can easily build up in this area. We also recommend regular dental appointments so that your dentist can tell you when it needs to be removed or replaced.

 

What to do if my teeth have shifted after braces

There are a few things you can do if your teeth are starting to shift.

 

Wear your retainer

If you’ve forgotten to wear your retainer for a night or two, your retainer might feel tight the next time you put it in. To help get your teeth back into position, try wearing your retainer for a full 24 hours. This will help your teeth move back into place and the tightness will disappear.

 

Visit your orthodontist for a new retainer

If you haven’t worn your retainer for a few months and it no longer fits, you’ll need to visit your orthodontist. Without regular pressure from a retainer, your teeth might move more quickly. Don’t try to wear your retainer if it does not fit. Wearing a retainer that’s too small can cause more harm than good.

 

Consider clear braces or Invisalign

If it’s been years since you had braces and your teeth have shifted out of alignment, you may want to consider braces. Some adults opt for Invisalign as a discreet alternative to traditional braces. While it’s frustrating to have braces twice, there are advantages to restoring your smile.

Straight teeth are easier to clean and misaligned teeth can cause bite issues. Plus, braces can give you back that boost in confidence if you no longer like the look of your smile. Just make sure you wear your retainer at the end of your treatment!

 

When should I contact my orthodontist?

You should contact your orthodontist and make an appointment if your retainer no longer fits or if you’ve noticed a visible change to your teeth. Come and see the team at Gentle Dental. Our orthodontists will talk to you about your goals and can help you achieve a smile you are happy with.

November 14, 2023 by Gentle Dental 0 Comments

Choosing the Best Replacement for Missing Teeth: A Practical Guide

What is the best option for replacing missing teeth?

While lots of things can cause tooth loss, having a gap in your smile can cause problems later on. Tooth loss can make it hard to eat certain foods, cause speech problems and even affect the alignment of other teeth. Missing teeth can also change the way your smile looks. If you are one of the many New Zealand adults with missing teeth, there are ways to restore your smile.

 

What causes tooth loss?

Tooth loss doesn’t have to happen naturally as we age. If you adopt good oral health habits, there’s a good chance you’ll have all your natural teeth, even in old age.

Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in New Zealand. Periodontitis, the more severe form of gum disease, causes bone and soft tissue loss in the jaw. If not treated it can lead to tooth loss.

A poor diet can also impact your teeth. Eating a diet rich in sugar can cause cavities. If a tooth is too decayed for a filling, sometimes the only option is tooth extraction.

 

Is it bad to have missing teeth?

While you can live with missing teeth, it’s not good for your oral health. The hole left behind by a missing tooth is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Tooth loss increases the risk of gum disease and other oral health problems.

Another reason a gap in your smile is ‘bad’ is because your teeth can begin to shift around. Our teeth do a great job of keeping each another in place. When a tooth falls out, the surrounding teeth can start to shift into the empty space. Even if you had straight teeth before, you may end up with wider gaps between your teeth or a crooked smile after tooth loss.

A missing tooth can also affect the bone density in your jaw. Once a tooth falls out or is removed, some of the bone beneath the missing tooth is reabsorbed back into the body. This weakens the overall structure of the jaw and can weaken the surrounding teeth.

Missing teeth can also affect your facial structure. Extensive tooth loss can cause your cheeks to sink inwards, weaken your facial muscles and cause the lips to thin.

 

What are my options for replacing a missing tooth?

There are a few options for replacing a missing tooth. The best way to know what’s best for you is to talk to your dentist. Cost, the quality of your existing teeth and your own personal preferences are all factors that may influence your decision. Some options for replacing your tooth include:

 

Dental Implants

Dental implants can be a good option for a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. Not only do they look natural, they also help prevent bone loss and will restore the functionality of your smile. Dental implants are strong, last for years, and can be placed anywhere in the mouth. If you take care of your dental implant, they can even last a lifetime.

A dental implant is made up of two parts, the implant and the crown. A metal screw is implanted into the jawbone and once healed a false tooth (the crown) is placed on top. Dental implants require surgery and several weeks of recovery before the crown is attached.

Pros of dental implants

  • Permanent option for tooth loss
  • Strong and natural looking option
  • Will last a lifetime if cared for

Cons of dental implants

  • They can be expensive
  • Long healing time post-surgery
  • Not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants

 

Implant supported bridge

If you are missing multiple teeth in a row, an implant supported bridge is a more affordable option than multiple implants. An implant-supported bridge consists of several artificial teeth anchored by dental implants on either side.

Implant supported bridges aren’t a permanent fix for tooth loss. Although the implants may last a lifetime, the bridge will need to be replaced at some point. You’ll also need to be more careful about brushing and flossing under the bridge as bridges can increase your risk of gum disease.

Pros of an implant supported bridge

  • Great option for multiple missing teeth
  • More economical than multiple implants
  • They look natural and feel comfortable

Cons of an implant supported bridge

  • Not a permanent option
  • Placement of your bridge requires multiple appointments
  • Can only be used under some circumstances
  • Food and bacteria can get lodged under the bridge

 

Tooth-supported bridge

With a tooth supported bridge your natural teeth act as the support posts for the bridge. For this to be an option you’ll need to have healthy teeth on either side of your missing tooth or teeth. During treatment, your natural teeth are shaped and fitted with a crown. The bridge is then cemented to the crowns on either side.

Tooth-supported bridges look natural and don’t take long to fit. Like an implant bridge, a tooth supported bridge increases the risk of food or debris getting trapped underneath the device. You’ll need to be careful about cleaning under the bridge.

Pros of a tooth supported bridge

  • No downtime or healing time
  • Crowns can be fitted in one visit
  • Natural, realistic looking option

Cons of a tooth supported bridge

  • Natural teeth need to be shaved down
  • Adjoining teeth can be damaged if the bridge is poorly fitted
  • Food and bacteria can get lodged under the bridge

 

Partial dentures

Removable partial dentures are a less invasive way to fill the gap in your smile. Removable partial dentures can replace several missing teeth. Artificial teeth are attached to a metal or gum-coloured base and kept in place with a metal framework.

Partial dentures are very affordable. It’s worth noting that while the teeth look natural, the metal clasp of the dentures may be visible.

Pros of partial dentures

  • If you lose further teeth, extra artificial teeth can be added
  • Affordable option
  • Easy to replace or repair
  • A simple option with no downtime or lengthy procedures

Cons of a partial dentures

  • Can sometimes be uncomfortable if not fitted correctly
  • Must be removed and cleaned daily
  • Must be removed before sleeping
  • Less natural as the metal clasps are visible

 

If you have a gap in your smile, these options can keep your teeth and mouth healthy and prevent further tooth loss. Come and see us at Gentle Dental to talk about options for repairing your smile.

October 26, 2023 by Gentle Dental 0 Comments

Which Dentures Are Perfect For Me?

Modern dentures can improve the look of your smile, give your bite more functionality and help prevent dental problems that missing teeth can cause.

October 18, 2023 by Gentle Dental 0 Comments

Essential Dental Care Tips for Braces Wearers

Having braces can put you at higher risk of tooth decay. Learn how to keep your teeth healthy while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

September 21, 2023 by Gentle Dental 0 Comments

Tartar and Plaque: How-To Prevent Buildup

If you have a buildup of tartar on the back of your bottom teeth you’re not alone. This is a common problem. The good news is tartar is treatable and preventable.

August 17, 2023 by Gentle Dental 0 Comments

New Location | 32 Gems is Now Gentle Dental

We’re excited to announce that 32 Gems Dental Care is now a part of Gentle Dental. We’re the same team you know and love, but even better.

August 17, 2023 by Gentle Dental 0 Comments

Dental Crowns | Procedure Length Simplified

The length of time a dental crown takes depends on what type of crown you get. A traditional crown takes 2-3 weeks while a same-day crown takes a few hours.

August 14, 2023 by Gentle Dental 0 Comments

Tooth Abscess’ | Best Treatment and Pain Relief

If you are experiencing tooth pain, gum swelling or mouth sensitivity, these could be symptoms of a tooth abscess caused by bacterial infection.

July 26, 2023 by Gentle Dental 0 Comments

Root Canal or Tooth Extraction? Empower your Dental Choice

Root canals and tooth extractions are two very different procedures, each with their own pros and cons. Here’s what you should know about each treatment.

July 24, 2023 by Gentle Dental 0 Comments

Dry Socket: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Dry socket is a complication that can happen after a tooth extraction. While this can be painful, there are things you can do to prevent dry socket from happening.