Assessing changes in patient's psychological health and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) over time during orthodontic treatment may help clinicians to treat patients more carefully. To evaluate changes in mental health, self-reported masticatory ability and OHRQoL during orthodontic treatment in adults, this prospective study included 66 adults (30 men, 36 women; mean age, 24·2 ± 5·2 years). Each patient completed the Korean versions of the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory, Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale, Rosenberg self-esteem scale, key subjective food intake ability (KFIA) test for five key foods and Oral Health Impact Profile-14 (OHIP-14K) at baseline (T0), 12 months after treatment initiation (T1) and debonding (T2). All variables changed with time. Self-esteem and the total OHIP-14K score significantly decreased and increased, respectively, at T1, with a particular increase in the psychological and social disabilities scores. There were no significant differences in any questionnaire scores before and after treatment. The total OHIP-14K score was positively correlated with trait anxiety and depression, and negatively correlated with self-esteem and KFIA at T0, regardless of the treatment duration. Older patients showed a significant increase in the total OHIP-14K score at T1 and T2. OHRQoL worsened with an increase in the treatment duration. Our results suggest that OHRQoL temporarily deteriorates, with the development of psychological and social disabilities, during orthodontic treatment. This is related to the baseline age, psychological health and self-reported masticatory function. However, patients recover once the treatment is complete.
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