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  • Writer's pictureDr. Mark Feinberg


The structures supporting newly aligned teeth need time to settle into place once treatment is complete. Teeth will stabilize with time, but the risk of relapse is always present. While the natural tendency for teeth to return to their original position is the chief reason why retainers are necessary, there are many factors that contribute to orthodontic relapse.

Reasons For Relapse

Teeth Grinding The forces at play when grinding teeth propels the lower jaw forward and places strain on the upper row of teeth. The repeated tension on the upper arch impacts the position of teeth, often causing them to fall out of alignment.

Genetics Even if adult teeth grow in aligned, genetics can prompt teeth to shift in adulthood.

Tooth Loss The naturally occurring action known as mesial drift triggers teeth to migrate toward the front of the smile. When a tooth is missing, its gap creates room for teeth to move dramatically and promote misalignment.

Third Molar Eruption Wisdom teeth typically erupt during the teenage years. However, eruption may take place in your twenties. If third molars erupt late, it can cause misalignment of the lower teeth.

Age Teeth weaken as we grow older. As the protective enamel begins to thin and wear away with age, teeth may buckle under pressure and shift. Tooth movement due to age is especially common in lower front teeth.

Correcting Orthodontic Relapse Orthodontic relapse can be corrected. One solution may be to wear clear braces like Invisalign, which can move teeth back to their correct positions. Invisalign can treat cases of orthodontic relapse exceptionally well. Invisalign uses a series of clear removable aligners, which are customized for each individual patient to straighten teeth. Other misalignment problems may have to be corrected with special retainers or traditional braces.

Consultation For more information please contact us today at 203-513-2014 today. We look forward to speaking to you.

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