Objectives

To investigate the masticatory (masticatory performance, bite force, swallowing threshold, muscle activity, and questionnaires) and nutritional (nutrient intake) impacts of the activation and/or installation of different orthodontic appliances (fixed labial, lingual appliances, and clear aligners).

Materials and Methods

Six electronic databases and gray literature were searched (up to May 2021) for relevant studies evaluating mastication and nutrition after activation/installation of orthodontic appliances. This review followed PRISMA guidelines and was registered at PROSPERO (CRD42020199510). The risk of bias (RoB 2 and ROBINS-I) and evidence quality Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation were analyzed.

Results

Of 4226 recorded and screened, 15 studies were finally included. Masticatory performance (standardized mean difference [SMD]: 1.069; 95% coefficient interval [CI]: 0.619 to 1.518) and bite force (SMD: -2.542; 95% CI: -4.867 to -0.217) reduced in the first 24 to 48 hours of fixed labial appliance installation/activation, but they were both normalized after 30 days (P > .05). The swallowing threshold remained constant (P > .05). Nutritional intake was rarely reported but showed copper (P = .002) and manganese (P = .016) reductions, with higher calorie and fat intake (P < .05). Lingual appliances impacted chewing more than labial, and clear aligner wearers reported fewer chewing problems (P < .001). Low to very low levels of evidence were found.

Conclusions

Based on low to very low levels of evidence, mastication was reduced during the first 24 to 48 hours of fixed labial appliance activation/installation, but it was transitory (up to 30 days). Due to insufficient data, the nutritional impact of orthodontic appliances was not conclusive.

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Author notes

a

Graduate Student, Department of Dentistry, Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

b

Professor, Department of Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

c

Professor, Department of Dentistry, Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

d

Professor, Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil.