I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
Getting braces as a child or a teenager can vastly improve how your teeth look and functions later on in life. However, it's rather common for those who had braces as children to have their teeth become crooked in the future. If you think your teeth have become crooked all these years later, read on to learn why this has happened and what you can do about it.
Why It Happens
Teeth frequently get crooked after braces when those braces were used on children. While dental corrections at this age are a great idea since the jaw is still growing, children frequently do things that can make teeth crooked. For example, you may have bitten your nails, sucked your thumb, or enjoyed sucker candies as a child that gradually made your teeth crooked. You could even have habits today that are still problematic, but chances are this took root years ago.
The good news is, you don't have to expect a year or two of braces correction if your teeth have become crooked. In most cases, people who already had braces will experience their teeth shifting, crowding surrounding teeth, or creating gaps where there weren't any previously. However, the overall structure of your jaw should still be in good shape. This means that you'll only need braces to correct your individual teeth, rather than the underlying bone structure.
Depending on your personal dental needs, you may be able to get invisible braces. In some minor cases of crookedness, you could simply need a new retainer to help restore your former alignment and to keep them that way.
What To Expect
When you visit your dentist, the first thing you'll want to do is to explain your history. They'll examine your teeth and determine if you need braces or a retainer. Afterward, they will likely request your medical records from your prior dentist(s) so they can look at the x-rays and molds of how your teeth used to look immediately following your braces correction. Your dentist will be able to base your new treatment on how your teeth looked following your braces correction.
Once your dentist has received their materials and has a plan of action in mind, you'll be called in. Depending on whether you're getting standard braces, invisible braces, a 6 month smile, or a retainer, your dentist will either take a mold or perform a new set of x-rays. Then your treatment will begin, with either a molded set of retainers or invisible braces or with new brackets and wires to start your standard braces treatment.
Braces can do a lot, but it's up to you to keep the corrections after the treatment is over. Talk to your dentist to find out what habits might be causing your crooked teeth and how to prevent this from happening again.