A lot of people go through orthodontic treatment once and then are still not happy with the final result. Sometimes, the teeth didn’t fully adjust, or perhaps your teeth shifted because you had Invisalign as a teen and then your wisdom teeth shifted things. Can you still go through orthodontic treatment for the second time? The answer is: Absolutely!
Reasons People Need Orthodontic Treatment a Second Time
There are several reasons why people may want or need to go through a second round with braces or another orthodontic treatment. Here are some of the most common ones:
1. Not Wearing Retainers Properly
We’re not judging, but… this really is the number one reason why you might end up having to see an orthodontist again. After your first round of orthodontic treatment – when the braces finally come off – it’s really important that you follow your regimen with the retainer for the first year. If you forget to put the retainer back in as often as you should, your teeth will naturally try to shift back to their original positions. Many times, people who don’t follow their retainer rules can end up with their teeth being even more crooked than when their orthodontic treatment first began.
2. Here Come the Wisdom Teeth
Some people who don’t have a lot of free space in the mouth will find that their teeth have to go somewhere when those wisdom teeth erupt in their late teens or early 20s. This is why it’s really important to get a checkup with your dentist or orthodontist as soon as you start feeling an ache from your wisdom teeth or back molars. We can often predict whether your teeth are going to shift ahead of time from your wisdom teeth. Although this issue is less common, it can still cause the teeth to shift and necessitate a second orthodontic treatment.
3. Accident or Trauma
You might have had a perfect smile after your teeth were adjusted with invisible braces, only to later lose a tooth due to an accident or tooth decay. This can cause your teeth to shift in the mouth, once again, requiring some specialized treatment, and even a replacement tooth or bridge to restore your smile once again.
4. Gum Disease
Gum disease is extremely common in adults. When gum disease is untreated for any length of time, it can lead to an infection. The infection can cause swollen gums, which in turn can cause the teeth to shift even faster.
5. Bruxism and Other Bad Habits
If you grind your teeth in your sleep, or clench your teeth together unconsciously due to stress, that puts strain on your teeth that can cause them to shift.
How Do I Know if I Need a Second Orthodontic Treatment?
The issues listed above can cause a relapse that undoes all the hard work of your first round of braces or Clear Correct. But how do you really know it may be time for a second orthodontic treatment? Here are some of the symptoms to consider:
- Your smile looks much liked it used to, due to overcrowding from wisdom teeth
- New gaps appear in your smile, even though you completed the first treatment
- Extreme pain or discomfort in the jaw (can be a sign of a severe misalignment)
- Gum disease or tooth decay which is caused by shifting teeth
How Long Does a Second Orthodontic Treatment Take?
Here’s a bit of good news on this topic: If you do need a second round with braces or Invisalign, it most likely won’t take as long as your first round of treatments. That’s because the distance your teeth will need to be adjusted is most likely much shorter. It is a case-by-case scenario, though; your second orthodontic treatment could take as little as three months, or as long as 18 months.
Is a Second Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?
That is really up to you as an individual. If you want to get your “bride braces” before your wedding or feel like your smile needs a touch-up in any way, we are here to help! Invisalign, Clear Correct and many types of braces are cosmetic procedures. It ultimately depends on whether you are happy with your current smile or if you think it needs some more improvement. We can give you our best recommendation at Valderrama Orthodontics, but the final decision is yours! Call us today to get started on your journey to a smile you’ll love again!