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Teeth Shifting 101: Signs, Causes, Treatments and More

Teeth Shifting 101 Signs, Causes, Treatments and More

Back in the day, patients who suffered from uneven or crooked teeth weren’t aware that their teeth could shift again even after wearing braces for years. This has been a regret for most of them because every time we get Parents of our current patients, they tell us that they miss having their perfect smile.

Many people who were treated 25 years back believed that the last day of their braces meant the last day of their orthodontic journey. Sadly, this wasn’t the case because some patients noticed that their teeth shifted into an undesired position after a few years. We advise our patients to follow a proper dental routine if they want a gorgeous smile for a lifetime!

Why do teeth shift after braces?

Your teeth have a long memory, and it is normal for them to shift into their original position even after you have worn braces for three to four years. The teeth movement takes years for some patients, whereas some have also experienced teeth shifting within a few weeks of removing their braces. 

A lot of factors are responsible for the movement of your teeth. The reasons for shifting can include:

  • Age (teeth may shift more as we get older, and our bone structure changes)
  • Grinding your teeth at night
  • Clenching your teeth during the day, e.g. if you’re stressed
  • Tooth changes, including decay and infection
  • Gaps caused by missing teeth
  • Illness or injury, e.g. if you have a tooth knocked out of position
  • Gum disease

What are the symptoms of Teeth Shifting?

It is common to view your teeth as immovable objects, but they may start to shift under the right conditions. When your teeth begin to move around, it can lead to smile gaps or problems with your bite alignment. The symptoms from teeth shifting may include

  • Wisdom teeth extraction
  • Teeth shifting after braces
  • Sleep apnea
  • Gum disease
  • Getting older
  • Bone loss
  • Jawbone changes
  • The passage of time
  • Teeth grinding
  • Pressure due to talking and eating

How Do You Prevent Teeth from Shifting?

Dentists recommend following a proper oral hygiene routine to prevent your teeth from shifting. Along with this, using fixed or removable retainers can also help you to hold your teeth in position.

Removable Retainers

Most patients who have used traditional braces or Invisalign clear aligners choose to wear removable retainers to keep their teeth in position. It is recommended to use retainers full time for at least three to four months, and after that, a patient can wear them at night.

Fixed Retainers

While fixed retainers aren’t a patient’s choice, they can be a good alternative for people who forget to wear their removable retainers when they take them off. They work similarly to removable retainers, and the wire with your fixed retainers protects your front teeth from moving.

How to fix shifting teeth?

Patients usually notice slight shifts in their teeth when they fail to wear their retainers. However, if you see shifting teeth, you can prevent them by following these tips:

  • Visit your dentist regularly: A dentist can help you with the problems you face with your teeth, and sometimes he may even prevent shifting teeth before it occurs.
  • Wear your Retainers regularly: As mentioned above, Retainers play an essential role in holding your teeth in position; hence, wearing them every day becomes necessary.
  • Don’t grind your teeth: If you have a Teeth Grinding problem, you should visit your dentist for a solution.
  • Follow good dental hygiene: Brush your teeth regularly and use dental floss to ensure food and bacteria don’t stay in your mouth.


If you are still unable to fix your shifting teeth, then visiting a dentist is your only option. You are just one call away from a healthy smile. Visit us at Thurman Orthodontics today or call on 559-439-0425 for more info


Is teeth movement after braces common?

Once the braces have done their job, teeth movement isn’t expected. If you face teeth shifting, retainers may help you solve your problem. 

Does teeth shifting hurt?

Since teeth shifting is a gradual process, it does not cause pain overnight. However, if you develop gum problems, you might face pain in your mouth.

Can retainers help to fix a slight shift in teeth after braces?

Yes, getting Retainers can help you to fix the slight shift in your teeth that you start getting after braces.

You are just one call away from a perfect, beautiful and healthy smile!

So give us a call or request a complimentary consultation online.

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