More and more lecturers and published articles talk about the problem of relapse after orthodontic treatment. One such example is DeWood, Grimes and Vaden’s work titled ‘Is the benefit of early orthodontic treatment worth the burden?’
It’s now commonly known that brackets can correct pretty much any malocclusion, with or without extractions. The problem is that once the brackets are removed, the teeth tend to relapse back into their old positions.
The myofunctional orthodontics school of thought is that myofunctional issues are always the cause of malocclusion, but the fact remains that after regular orthodontics teeth do tend to relapse. So now the recommendation is that patients wear retainers forever.
Professor Vaden also points out that often patients treated using brackets or fixed appliances, even those who’ve had retainers fitted after initial treatment, often return to the practitioner later in life for further treatment to straighten teeth again.
Issues with patient retention after orthodontics are now well known. Brackets are very efficient at straightening teeth, but often permanent retainers are required to get any sort of stability. The problem with this approach occurs after the retainers come off - even after many years there is a good possibility that the teeth will relapse.