Reasons Why Your Teeth Could Shift After Your Orthodontic Treatment Is Complete

Posted on: 26 February 2021

If you have had your misalignment treated with braces, you may not have considered that your teeth could possibly shift after the orthodontic treatment is complete. This shifting, which can be prevented by wearing a retainer, may occur for a number of reasons. Here are a few of them.


People who grind their teeth may experience multiple oral changes. Not only does the grinding wear away the tooth material, but it can also apply a significant amount of pressure to the teeth. If the pressure is not absorbed by a mouthguard, it can be great enough to move the teeth, causing them to shift from their straight alignment. 

Gum Disease

To keep your newly straightened teeth in great shape, you should be sure to floss and brush regularly. The cleaning of the teeth also helps maintain the health of the surrounding gingival tissues.

As plaque builds up in the mouth, the acidic waste from the oral bacteria in the substance also accumulates. The resulting low pH of the oral environment causes the gums to become inflamed, inciting periodontal disease. 

As gum disease progresses, pockets form between the teeth and the gingival tissues, granting oral bacteria access to the jawbone. The bone, which usually fits tightly around the teeth, holding them in place, may start to shrink from the infection, leaving gaps between the tooth roots and the jawbone tissue. As a result, the teeth may loosen and begin to shift.


As a person matures, their teeth may naturally drift a bit. This movement occurs due to the changes in the facial structure, which includes the growth of the jaws. As the jaws become increasingly narrow and expand forward, the lower teeth may move together, creating an overlap.

Tooth Loss

People may also experience dental shifting after tooth loss. Each tooth acts as a placeholder for the teeth adjacent to it. Thus, when a tooth is lost, there is additional space in the mouth for the teeth to shift from their usual positions. Teeth that were previously moved into a proper alignment by braces can become misaligned again.

Some dentists will suggest the quick replacement of a lost tooth to help prevent this shifting. An implant, bridge, or another suitable replacement device can fill the gap to help teeth remain in their proper places.

To learn more about preventing your teeth from shifting after your orthodontic treatment, schedule a consultation with an orthodontist in your local area.