Getting Braces: Are There Risks?

Man with braces uses toothbrush

Getting braces is a medical procedure. There are some risks involved. However, when your orthodontic procedures are done by an experienced professional, and you are committed to following your treatment plan, risks and potential complications are greatly reduced.

Of course, there are some factors that may be out of your doctor’s control, especially when it comes to existing dental problems and jaw development. But a good doctor works proactively to account for them both before and during treatment.

Here are some of the potential complications that can arise from getting braces.

Your Doctor

This is a completely avoidable risk. Take your time and choose your qualified and experienced doctor wisely. Making an informed choice at the start of treatment can help to mitigate a lot of those risks you could face. Have a list of questions ready.

Look for his accreditation and keep an eye out for the equipment in the office during your visit. State-of-the-art technology usually means that your doctor is up to date with current techniques and procedures.

Root resorption

Adjusting teeth too quickly is usually the cause of root resorption, which essentially shortens the length of the tooth’s root. Slow and steady treatment reduces this risk of root erosion by allowing the bone around the root to reform properly.

Although the root shortening doesn’t have a long-term effect on most patients, in some cases it can cause teeth to become loose and unhealthy. Braces worn for longer periods of time (longer than the the usual time frame) will increase the likelihood of it happening.


Plaque is never your friend, and especially not when you have more areas for it to form and attach to your teeth. Improper brushing and poor oral hygiene allows for plaque to grow around your brackets and gums. This plaque will start to leach calcium out of your teeth, which will leave the unsightly white marks where your braces were. Left untreated, it will lead to decay and even tooth loss.


This is the inflammation of the gum tissues around the teeth. It can become so severe that it will swell to cover the brackets.

Gingivitis is another complication primarily from improper dental care by braces wearers. There are also some cases (which are beyond the doctor’s control), where the wearer will have a sensitivity to one of the metal alloys (ordinarily nickel) used in traditional braces.

Avoiding Complications

Staying committed to the treatment plan will help to diminish many of those risks mentioned here. Regular checkups are not just a good way to get out of work or school early. They are important to ensure your plan is working, as well as to address any issues that might arise.

Dental hygiene is another great way to reduce risks, and will go a long way to help keep your teeth and gums healthy for that winning smile once the braces come off.

About Orthodontic Associates

The doctors at Orthodontic Associates are seasoned professionals, offering state-of-the-art procedures and revolutionary services to all of our customers. There are nine locations around Baltimore to choose from, offering and added level of convenience that fits your schedule.


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