Preventing Orthodontic Relapse

Gum tissue is very flexible and made up of tiny elastic fibers that stretch and compress where they are attached to our teeth. This flexibility is what makes it possible for braces and other appliances to move teeth into their proper positions through slow, gradual movement. Unfortunately, it can also pull teeth back into their old alignment after your orthodontic treatment is complete.

Sometimes, traditional methods of preventing this movement are not effective, such as wearing a retainer or placing a lingual bar. When this is the case, Drs. Haerian and Ludwig can perform minimally invasive procedures to stop movement and ensure that your new smile lasts a lifetime.


The small fold of tissue that is connected to your gums and your lip is called the frenum. The frenum is a common cause of spacing relapse between the two front teeth. A frenectomy is a common, minimally invasive procedure to treat or prevent a spacing relapse. A frenectomy involves the use of a laser to remove the excess tissue. We administer a local anesthetic to prevent any discomfort during this procedure.


If there has been a significant rotational change in the alignment of the front teeth, a fibrotomy may be necessary to augment the performance of the retainer and better prevent relapse. A laser is used to detach some of the gingival fibers between the gums and the teeth, which reduces the tension and therefore reduces the overall force that attempts to shift the teeth back to their original position. Like a frenectomy, local anesthesia is used during a fibrotomy to prevent any discomfort.

Preventing Orthodontic Relapse at HLS Orthodontics

At HLS Orthodontics, it is our top priority to provide every patient with a healthy, straight, and beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. Whether you are seeking orthodontic treatment for your child or yourself, it is important to know that orthodontic care does not end when braces are removed!

We encourage you to contact our office for more information, where a member of our staff will be happy to assist you. We look forward to meeting you, and we appreciate the opportunity to provide you with the best of care at one of our state-of-the-art facilities.