Can I Get Braces a Second Time?

by | Sep 19, 2023 | Dental Braces, General Orthodontics | 0 comments

Braces again? No, you’re not having a weird déjà vu moment!

Believe it or not, getting braces for a second time is more common than you think.

Whether you’re eyeing the traditional ‘metal train tracks’ or leaning towards the subtlety of invisible braces, there’s a perfect fit for everyone.

So sit tight as we explore the ins and outs of embarking on a second journey to achieving that picture-perfect smile!


5 Reasons Why You May Need a Second Round of Braces

Reasons Why You May Need a Second Round of Braces

Dealing With an Accident or Trauma

Accidents or trauma that impacts your mouth or jaw can shake things up in your oral cavity, calling for another round of braces to set things straight.

Say you’re playing a friendly game of soccer, and bam, an accidental elbow to the face leaves you feeling pain in your mouth.

In such situations, the impact may cause your teeth to shift out of their original position, especially if they were already somewhat loose.

Also, any accident severe enough to injure your jaw can lead to problems with your bite alignment, requiring additional orthodontic treatment to correct.


The Onset of Gum Disease

Gum disease causes all sorts of problems in the oral cavity, such as gum recession and even bone loss. And when your gums and bones — the bedrock of your teeth — are compromised, your teeth will naturally shift out of their perfect alignment.

You must treat the gum disease before considering additional treatment with braces. Once your dentist or periodontist gives you the all-clear, you may start discussing with your orthodontist about getting your teeth back in line once again, either through braces treatment or another form of orthodontic treatment.


The Unexpected Growth of Wisdom Teeth

If the wisdom teeth come in and start pushing on other teeth because they don’t have enough space, it may cause them to shift. Unfortunately, this might undo the work of your braces and cause your once perfectly aligned teeth to become crooked or misaligned!

The solution? You might need a second round of braces to correct the problem and keep your beautiful smile in tip-top shape!

However, the decision to get braces a second time depends on your circumstances. For example, some patients avoid the hassle of additional orthodontic treatment by having their wisdom teeth removed early enough to prevent any teeth shifting. But if the damage is already done, getting braces again may be your best bet.


Orthodontic Relapse

Girl with orthodontic braces

Orthodontic relapse occurs when your pearly whites gradually shift back to their original positions after orthodontic treatment.

The main culprit of orthodontic relapse is not wearing your retainer as directed. Retainers are crucial in keeping your teeth in their new, straight position. They’re like the security guards of your mouth, keeping everything in order.

But sometimes, it’s not entirely your fault. Some of us have stubborn teeth that want to move back, no matter how diligently we wear our retainers. It’s frustrating, but it happens.

If you’ve experienced significant orthodontic relapse, your orthodontist might recommend a second round of braces to get your teeth back in line. Contact your orthodontist the second you notice your teeth starting to shift after your braces come off. The sooner you tackle a relapse, the easier it will be to fix!


Not Being Satisfied With the Result of Your First Round of Braces

Sometimes, even after going through the first round of braces and all the rubber bands, metal wires, and food restrictions, you might still look at your smile in the mirror and think, “Hmm, this isn’t quite what I was hoping for.”

And that’s okay!

Maybe the treatment plan was less effective than planned, or your teeth didn’t respond to treatment the way they expected.

Going for a second round of braces is definitely an option in such situations. This time, you and your orthodontist can take another look at your teeth, discuss the reasons for your dissatisfaction, and come up with a new game plan. Remember, the aim is to get you a smile that looks good and contributes to a healthy bite and oral health!


Is It Safe to Wear Braces Twice?

No hard-and-fast rule says you can only wear braces once in your lifetime. If your teeth need more nudging, going in for a second round of braces is fine.

Your orthodontist will first conduct a thorough examination to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy enough for another treatment with dental braces. They’ll also consider any changes in your oral health since the first round.

Sometimes, depending on the corrections needed, your orthodontist may suggest less invasive and more comfortable alternatives to traditional braces, such as clear aligners.

In any case, the safety and effectiveness of wearing braces for a second time ultimately depend on your situation and the professional advice of your orthodontist.


How Long Will My Second Round of Braces Last?

The duration of your second round of braces will largely depend on your case.

The average braces treatment lasts about 1 to 3 years. But for a second go, it could be shorter or longer, depending on several factors, including:

  1. What caused the need for a second round: Is it because wisdom teeth push everything out of whack, or are your chompers just loving their old positions too much?
  2. The severity of your dental problems: If it’s just a minor shift that needs fixing, your braces could be off before you know it. But you’ll have to be more patient if it’s something more complex.
  3. How well you follow your orthodontist’s instructions: Braces are the stars of the show, but you’re the director! Wearing your elastics consistently, taking care of your oral hygiene, and showing up to your appointments will help speed up the process.


Will I Need Retainers After Wearing Braces a Second Time?

Retainers are definitely on the cards after your second rendezvous with braces. Think of them as the final step in your orthodontic journey to keep your new, perfect smile looking great!

After your braces have done all their heavy lifting to get your teeth in the right spots, retainers are the bouncers at the club, making sure none of those teeth try to cut in line and get back to their old positions.

Your teeth are held in place by periodontal ligaments. When braces move your teeth, these ligaments get stretched. They need time to adjust to the new positions. Retainers provide these ligaments with the much-needed adjustment period.

Orthodontists recommend wearing retainers for several months after the braces come off, except when eating or brushing. After that, you may switch to just wearing them at night. Every case is different, so your orthodontist will give you the rundown on what’s best for you.


Does Insurance Cover Braces a Second Time?

Smiling girl with braces

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer regarding insurance coverage for a second round of braces.

Most dental insurance plans have a lifetime maximum for orthodontic treatment. If you’ve already hit that max with your first round of braces, you might be out of luck for round two.

But don’t throw in the towel just yet!

First, check the specifics of your insurance plan. Get in touch with your provider and ask about your coverage. If your policy has changed since your first set of dental braces, more coverage might be available now.

Second, even if your insurance won’t cover another full treatment, it might still cover some of the costs.

Third, if you changed insurance providers after your first set of braces, your new provider might cover a second round because they didn’t pay for the first.

Finally, if the second set of braces is due to medical necessity, more coverage might be available through your dental plan or health insurance.

Have a chat with your orthodontist and your insurance provider. They can help you navigate the ins and outs of your coverage, explore your options, and find a way to make round two with braces easier on your wallet!


Considering Round Two of Getting Braces? Dr. Lee is Your Orthodontic Ace!

Contact Patuxent Orthodontics if orthodontic care is the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic care or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (240) 802-7217 or send us a message through our Contact Us page to connect with our friendly staff today and book a complimentary consultation! 

Our office, located at 44220 Airport View Dr., Hollywood, MD 20636, proudly serves Maryland’s Patuxent area, as well as the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Hollywood, Wildewood, or Leonardtown and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Maryland, don’t hesitate to visit our office! 

We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining your perfect smile, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!



  1. Lee, Dr. Richard. “What Happens If You Don’t Wear Your Retainer?” Loudoun Orthodontics, Access date: 31 July 2023.
  2. Lee, Dr. Richard. “What Should I Do If My Retainer Is Not Fitting Anymore?” Loudoun Orthodontics, 8 Aug. 2023, Access date: 31 July 2023.

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