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Can Your Overbite Come Back After Braces?

By Manjari Bansal
Your overbite may come back after braces if you don’t wear retainers. Learn more about the reasons for shifting teeth post-braces and the solutions that can help.

The treatment of crooked teeth does not end with the removal of braces. You'll need to wear retainers as recommended by your orthodontist to prevent your teeth from moving away from their corrected positions. Here are the reasons why your overbite can return after braces and some of the solutions that can help.

Overbite After Braces

“Yes, your overbite can return even after wearing braces or aligners," Oleg Drut, DDS, an orthodontist and founder of Diamond Braces, tells WebMD Connect to Care. "There are few main reasons relapse can occur: Premature removal of braces or poor patient compliance when wearing retainers or unfavorable remaining growth of the jaws after orthodontic treatment is completed.”

When your teeth have moved into their correct position after braces, they go through a “settling in” period as they adjust to the different movements of your mouth such as biting, chewing, and speaking. These movements could move your teeth from their corrected position.

Mikaeya Kalantari, DDS, a pediatric dentist at Sunshine Smiles of Orange County, tells WebMD Connect to Care that teeth are connected to jawbones with tiny fibers which are like rubber bands. These fibers get stretched when teeth are moved with braces. If the teeth are not retained properly after braces, these fibers pull the teeth back to their original position.

Solutions That Can Help

After your teeth have moved into the desired position with the help of braces and you've acheived overbite correction, the best way to hold the teeth in their position is by wearing retainers as prescribed by your dentist, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.

“The retainer helps teeth stay in place until the bone remodeling and periodontal ligaments (fibers that connect teeth to the jaw bone) adapt to your new tooth position,” Payam Ataii, DMD, a dentist at Laser Dental Center, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, retainers usually consist of two types: Removable retainers which you can put in and remove, and fixed retainers which are placed and removed by a dentist. 

Removable retainers come in two varieties—clear and wire. Clear retainers are like plastic trays that fit onto your teeth whereas wire retainers are made up of wire and plastic-like material. 

A fixed retainer is made of wire that is bonded to the back-side of your teeth by your dentist. Your orthodontist will determine the type of retainer that will suit you best.

“Your orthodontist will give you a plan for retainers once orthodontic treatment is finished. While you’ll usually have to wear your retainers full-time for a while, your orthodontist may suggest only wearing them at night once treatment goes well,” Drut says.

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