• The results of orthodontic treatment should be stable.
  • Studies have shown that there is often significant relapse of orthodontic treatment over time (ref).
  • This is a rather discouraging reality about orthodontic treatment.
  • Most orthodontists advise patients that they will need to wear retainers for the rest of their lives in order to keep their teeth straight and the bite fitting well.
  • This has been shown to be unrealistic, as studies indicate that approximately 95% of orthodontic patients stop wearing their retainers within four years of completion of treatment (ref).
  • Crooked teeth and poorly matching jaws (malocclusion) are symptoms of some underlying cause.
  • It is important to understand the underlying cause of the problem and address this underlying cause if greater stability is to be achieved.
  • It appears that environmental influences (epigenetics) are a significant cause of the poor development of the jaws and teeth.  
  • Environment influences can affect the growth of the jaws and teeth through an orofacial myofunctional disorder.
  • If an orofacial myofunctional disorder causes a malocclusion and the OMD is not corrected during orthodontic treatment, the same forces on the jaws and teeth that created the malocclusion in the first place will continue to act on the jaws and teeth.
  • This could be a reason that such significant relapse occurs following orthodontic treatment.