What are the adverse effects of repeating braces treatment if my teeth have relapsed?
The adverse effects of repeating braces would not differ too much with the ones that I tell my patient who is starting braces for the first time. Namely:
1. Difficulty of cleaning the braces appliance, risk of tooth decay and tooth decalcification resulting in white marks/stains on your teeth
2. Root resorption, the roots of your teeth do shorten to a small degree, on average 1-2mm after orthodontic treatment. Some individuals are more at risk of root resorption and an xray is needed to determine your risk. It is quite likely that your roots have undergone some degree of resorption with the first round of braces treatment, and a second round may mean that this shortens your roots further. However if your bone support and gum health is good, this does not adversely affect the longevity of your teeth.
3. Gum changes.Gum changes have different presentation, it can be inflammed and swollen if hygiene around the braces are poor. The gum changes can also be due to changing the teeth position. The teeth are held on by ligaments in the bone and covered by gums, though the teeth position can be changed with braces treatment, the gums unfortunately do not grow along with it into a new position. These gum changes may have look like gum recession and for others may appear like black spaces near the gum.
4. Relapse is still a possibility. The importance of retaining the corrected result the second time round would be very crucial and it is best to discuss with your doctor the type of retainer that is best suited for your individual needs.
Hope this helps and all the very best,
Dr Priscilla Lu
Orthodontist at the Orthodontic Clinic