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During orthodontic treatment

Specific detail on what orthodontic treatments are and how they might help you.

Explore ortho


When your braces are removed, your teeth will need to be held in their new position using a retainer. There are many different kinds of retainers and your orthodontist will assess which will be best for you.

The time it takes for your new bite to settle can vary and will be assessed by your dedicated professional.

One set of retainers will be provided for you at the end of your treatment and you may wish to purchase a second set of retainers. However, if you require another set, due to loss or damage, there is a fee for each replacement.

Decalcification (Tooth discolouration)

Orthodontic braces do not cause tooth decay, however they can trap particles of food, which may increase the likelihood of developing tooth decay or calcification.

Decalcification or small white marks on the surface of tooth enamel are a sign of early tooth decay, but this can be avoided by modifying your diet to include less sugar, as well as avoiding carbonated drinks.

mydentist Orthodontic Centres recommend the use of fluoridated mouth rinse during treatment. Above all, excellent oral hygiene is a must!

Non-vital tooth

A tooth that has been previously traumatised, or which has a large filling, might be at risk of dying - becoming ‘non-vital’ - over a period of time, with or without orthodontic treatment. This tooth may flare up during treatment and require root canal therapy.

Discolouration of a non-vital tooth might be more noticeable during or after treatment, in which case your orthodontist may recommend bleaching.
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Periodontal problems (Swollen gums)

Swollen, inflamed or bleeding gums can be prevented by proper tooth brushing and regular flossing. Periodontal disease can be caused by the accumulation of plaque and debris around the teeth and gums.

In the most severe cases of periodontal disease there can be progressive loss of supporting bones and recession of the gums.

If this condition becomes obvious, treatment may be stopped before completion. This is very rare and only occurs in adults with pre-existing periodontal issues.

Root resorption

Root resorption is the shortening of the tooth roots, which can occur with or without orthodontic treatment and is impossible to predict before it appears. Slight changes to length are usually insignificant, however, in the event of gum disease in later life, root resorption can affect the longevity of the affected teeth.
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Impacted teeth

Impacted teeth are teeth which stay completely or partially under the gum, due to there not being enough room for them to emerge. This most commonly affects the canine and wisdom teeth.

Minor oral surgery might be required to correct this by uncovering or completely removing the tooth itself, although removal is usually only done to prevent damage to adjacent teeth.

Orthognathic surgery

Sometimes there may be severe skeletal disharmony, which will mean tooth correction alone cannot give an ideal result. In this case, surgery can correct any jaw discrepancies.

As with all surgeries there are risks, though these will be discussed in depth with you by your oral surgeon should this be necessary.

Ankylosed teeth

In some cases a tooth will not move because it has become attached (ankylosed) to the jawbone.

Temporomandibular joint

Disorders affecting the jaw joint or the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can cause severe pain in some individuals and be very debilitating. TMJ problems are usually associated with clicking, limited opening, earache, headaches and jaw muscle ache.

The majority of TMJ disorders stem from musculoskeletal problems, though stress seems to play a role in the frequency and severity of the pain.

In the past, it was believed that an imperfect bite was the cause of jaw joint pain, however, recent investigations have shown this not to be the case.


Relapse refers to tooth movement after treatment is complete. Ideally, your teeth should remain stable and in position after retention, but teeth can move at any time with or without orthodontic intervention.

The most vulnerable teeth to relapse are those which were extremely rotated as well as those in the lower front jaw.

Some patients do choose to wear their retainers indefinitely, which your orthodontist will be happy to discuss with you.

Other factors which can affect tooth relapse include periodontal disease and harmful tongue and oral habits. As these factors are out of the control of your orthodontic specialist, they cannot guarantee that your teeth will remain in a perfect position for the rest of your life, though wearing your retainer as directed means it is very unlikely that your teeth will relapse to their original position.

Facial growth occurring during or after treatment, and uncorrected finger, thumb, tongue or similar pressure habits can lead to facial change and cause your teeth to shift. Unusual hereditary patterns or undesirable / insufficient growth can also influence your final results.