The simple answer is yes. There are two main reasons why. First, your gums have little elastic fibers in them that attach to the teeth. There is actually a protein in your gums called elastin. The elastic fibers in your gums act like little rubber bands. When you straighten a crooked tooth, the elastic fibers get stretched out and want to recoil to their original positions. These fibers “remember” where the teeth were before treatment began and are the main cause of teeth getting crooked again after orthodontic treatment. By the way, a common misconception is that wisdom teeth are what cause your orthodontic treatment to relapse. This is actually not true - patients who were born without wisdom teeth have the same amount of orthodontic relapse.
Second, teeth naturally tend to move and adjust as you age – regardless of whether you have had orthodontic treatment or not – unless you are wearing retainers.
If you stopped wearing your retainer and your teeth have shifted, all is not lost. Straightening teeth the second time around tends to be easier and faster. A lot of the work was already done the first time around. Invisalign is a great option for those who have had previous treatment with braces but have had some orthodontic relapse. Bonded fixed retainers are a nice option for holding teeth in position for the long term. Check out our website to learn more about retainers.
Remember, it’s easy to slip your retainers in at night before you go to bed to keep your smile straight and beautiful. If you make retainers part of your nighttime routine, you can enjoy beautiful, straight teeth for the rest of your life. If you have had some relapse, please give us a call to get your smile back on track. You’ll be happy you did!