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James Karpac Orthodontics

5 Things That Cause Post-Treatment Tooth Shifting

Tooth shifting is a major reason why people need a second round of orthodontic treatment, and here are some common causes of it!

JK Orthodontics utilizes removable retainers after orthodontic treatment has concluded.


Most orthodontic patients receive treatment during their pre-teen and teenage years, and the vast majority of patients assume that they’re done with orthodontists after their treatment process has completed.

But the unfortunate truth is that tooth shifting can commonly occur after your treatment is over, and this is one of many reasons why adult orthodontics has grown in popularity throughout recent years.

So if you’re now noticing that you or your child’s teeth have shifted after treatment has ended, below are some common causes that make teeth shift!


Not Wearing A Retainer Causes Post-Treatment Tooth Shifting


Once your braces or Line-M-Up™ treatment has finalized, Dr. Karpac will advise you to wear your retainer on a regular basis for the foreseeable future. Although the first six, post-treatment months are arguably the most important for your retainer wearing, you’ll still need to wear your retainer while you sleep for your entire lifetime.

Yes, you read that correctly. Nighttime retainer usage should continue for your entire life.

However, it’s safe to say that most people don’t continue this type of retainer habit, which then leads to post-treatment tooth shifting. Although this type of tooth shifting is very gradual and will slowly but surely occur over many years, you’ll eventually notice misalignments and malocclusions that weren’t there in years past.


Tooth Loss


Whether through an accident, dental disease, or surgery, people often lose teeth throughout their lifetimes. A CDC study has even found that about one in six senior citizens in America have lost all of their natural teeth!

When you lose teeth, you subsequently leave behind gaps within your mouth that your other teeth will naturally gravitate toward. This type of inadvertent movement will cause your teeth to form gaps and other misalignments.




As all of us get older, our lower teeth and jawline slowly moves forward in a natural process referred to as mesial drift. This type of tooth shifting causes bottom teeth to become misaligned and crowded.

It’s also important to note that our lips often get thinner as we age, which can also impact tooth positioning. Since these changes are simply a part of getting older, the best prevention strategy to avoid inadvertent tooth shifting is to maintain great oral hygiene routines.


Dental & Gum Disease


A lot of people think that our bodily health isn’t connected to oral hygiene, but the truth is that taking care of your teeth is incredibly important in terms of maintaining optimal overall heath.

If you don’t floss and brush your teeth at least twice a day, you’ll inevitably develop bacteria buildup that then creates plaque. When plaque isn’t thoroughly flossed and cleaned each day, it leads to tartar and gum inflammation. Over time, a lack of oral hygiene will inevitably lead to periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease is something that everyone should avoid, because it ends up having a detrimental ripple effect on your teeth. Many people who suffer from gum disease also experience issues like tooth decay and loss, which then creates tooth shifting.


Tooth Enamel Loss


Enamel is the protective layer on our teeth that helps us prevent dental problems like gum disease and cavities. But over long periods of time, it’s common for people to slowly but surely lose their teeth enamel. This can be due to natural aging, but it’s also often connected to certain foods and drinks we choose to consume.

As teeth lose enamel, they gradually begin to change shape as well. This subtle shape changing often leads to tooth shifting, which can then create misalignments and gaps.


Contact The JK Orthodontics Team To Learn More About Post-Treatment Care!


JK Orthodontics has supported the central Ohio region for decades, so we’ve seen how some past patients have needed extra support with post-treatment tooth shifting. Our team is always here to help you maintain the beautiful results of your braces or Line-M-Up™ treatment, and we’ll be there for your when you need support regaining your beautiful smile again.

Reach out to us online or give us a call at 614-766-0330 (Dublin office) or 614-471-6355 (Gahanna office) to get in touch with our team and schedule an appointment with Dr. Karpac today!