Adults have smiles too. Seems obvious, right? Life can be busy and hectic, but if you’re a grown-up, you still have a smile. And that smile deserves to be taken care of. Perhaps you received orthodontic intervention at a young age. But now that you’re an adult, you may have noticed changes to your smile. Even though you sought treatment in your childhood or teens, it’s almost like it’s worn off. What gives? And what can you do about it? Varallo Orthodontics’ two locations in Arlington and Burlington can offer you retreatment options for adults.
Why Adults Need Retreatment
As an adult, you should seek retreatment. Why? Partially because of a phenomenon that orthodontists call “orthodontic relapse.” This term refers to your teeth shifting positions after treatment. For example, consider someone who wore braces as a kid. After the braces get removed, the teeth might revert to their original positions. Should this relapse happen within one year of treatment, we call it a “short-term relapse.” If your teeth shift over one year after treatment, we refer to this as a “long-term relapse.”
Why Braces Didn’t Fix the Problem
Previous generations of orthodontic wisdom led us to the conclusion that braces could fix teeth forever. But orthodontic relapse is only something we’ve become aware of in recent years. For some people, that might be true. But, roughly 50% of patients will experience orthodontic relapse within ten years of completing treatment. Because orthodontic relapse affects so many patients, orthodontists have reconsidered their position on braces. If you receive braces, you will transition into a retainer. Adhering to your retainer guidelines is the best way to prevent orthodontic relapse. That said, several other factors contribute to relapse. Such as:
- Genetics and aging
- For some people, an orthodontic relapse might run in the family
- Some natural shifting occurs by getting older
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Grinding teeth, as during sleep) can cause teeth to shift positions over time
- Tooth loss
- If you’ve suffered from missing or lost teeth (possibly due to injury, illness, or trauma), the surrounding teeth will gradually move
Retreatment Options For You
Varallo Orthodontics offers a few different treatment options for adults. Each smile is different. Therefore, no one-size-fits-all treatment plan exists. Dr. Varallo will recommend a retreatment option that fits your particular situation. Here are a few for you to consider:
Varallo Orthodontics uses Damon braces. Unlike traditional braces, which use slots and elastics, Damon braces use a sliding door. Hence, these braces eliminate the need for pesky elastic bands. Depending on your treatment plan, the doctor may also use elastic bands. Think of these bands as additional support for your teeth. Concerned about comfort? We understand. Rest assured, today’s metal braces are much smaller, more flexible, and more comfortable than those of the past.
Just like the name suggests, these braces are transparent. That way, you can give yourself a discreet solution. You might also hear clear braces described as “ceramic,” “tooth-colored,” or “aesthetic.” By design, they pair well with your natural smile. With clear braces, you can smile wide, and no one will be the wiser. You might opt for colored ligature ties to give your braces some personality. These colored ties add a genuine sparkle to your smile when contrasted with the clear braces. Colored bands are a great way to make braces fun during your treatment.
The most convenient way to straighten your smile is with Invisalign. One standout feature of Invisalign is that it functions much like a retainer rather than braces. You can’t take them off to eat or brush your teeth when you wear braces. But since Invisalign is a removable retainer, you have the added perk of being able to take it out when you have a meal or get ready to brush and floss. These activities might not be as easy with more traditional braces. Generally, most patients wear Invisalign for about 9 – 15 months. During that time, you may go through 18 – 30 Invisalign retainers.
Seek Adult Retreatment at Varallo Orthodontics
Now that you’ve explored your options for adult retreatment, you’re ready to take the next step! Visit us here to schedule your free consultation.