Why Do My Teeth Look Misaligned So Soon After Treatment?

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Barakat Orthodontics

Dear Dr. Barakat,

I’m in week 7 of Invisalign treatment. My teeth look worse to me than when I started! Will they start to look straighter soon? I’m very concerned that I made the wrong choice and should have left my crooked teeth alone!

– Concerned Parent

Dear Concerned Parent,

It’s great that you’ve decided to take the steps towards a new smile! Having properly aligned teeth will not only make you proud to smile but will also benefit your overall oral health by making it easier to brush and floss properly. It’s an exciting process, and patients often want to see instant results.

It’s important to remember, though, that orthodontic treatment takes place in stages. Just like it took time for your teeth to shift into the wrong position, it will take time to move them to their proper positions. Your teeth have stabilized into the wrong position and are comfortable there. It will take time, patience and proper technique to move them without damaging the teeth roots and gums.

Aligning teeth takes place in several stages, and you may notice that they look worse before they look better. The first stage is when your orthodontic treatment either resolves crowding or closes the gaps between your teeth. The second stage is geared towards improving your bite and finalizing the position of your molars and incisors. The final stage is retention, when your orthodontic treatment is finished, and you’ve achieved the smile that works perfectly for you.

Going through all of these stages means that you will notice times when your teeth appear to look worse. In actuality, they are being put through a process that requires a lot of patience and time to get it right.

Rest assured that your Orthodontist is monitoring your treatment closely to make sure your results are the best they can be. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or to request to see your projected results. Don’t forget, you and your Orthodontist are partners in this process!

– Dr. Barakat


Dr. Rana Barakat, a board-certified specialist in Orthodontics, has been proudly serving Northern Virginia for more than 20-years! She has built her practice on a personal touch and excellent treatment.

As a parent, she understands wanting the best for your children in giving them beautiful, confident smiles. She makes it a priority to ensure optimal results, but also believes that each patient’s experience during treatment is just as important as the clinical result. As the 2015-16 President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Barakat’s dedication and expertise reflect why her peers continue to nominate her as a Top Dentist.

Barakat Orthodontics is located at 45745 Nokes Blvd., Ste. 175, Sterling, VA 20166. Connect with them by clicking: online, Facebook, Twitter, and calling: (703) 433-9330.

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