Five Tips In Caring For Your Braces During Orthodontic Treatment
September 22, 2015
Braces have been helping people get a better and more functional smile for decades, helping innumerable kids and adults to lay to rest adverse dental conditions, such as TMJ, or embarrassing situations, such as gross overbites, aka “buck teeth.”
Any successful orthodontic treatment requires a patient/doctor partnership. A lot of responsibility for getting a final beautiful result that lasts a lifetime requires the patient to carefully follow all instructions given by the doctor with regards to the procedures to care for the braces during the time they are required to be worn.
Partner with King Orthodontics for your best smile ever.
How is an Orthodontist Different from a Dentist?
An orthodontist is a doctor who attends dental school, just like your regular dentist, but his training goes beyond simple dentistry. After dental school, an orthodontist receives an additional three years of schooling where he learns the intricacies of tooth movement and jaw function. To become board certified, he will also have to pass a special exam at the end of his training.
What Types of Braces are Available?
There are many more options available now that have improved the experience of wearing braces and the uncomfortable feeling, especially for teens, that braces make them stand out from the crowd (in a bad way). One option is brackets that attach behind the teeth to keep them out of sight.
Another option for going incognito while your teeth are being straightened is Invisalign, which is a series of clear liners that gradually move your teeth and allow you to remove them for brushing and eating. Many adults opt for Invisalign because they feel like braces are for kids. King Orthodontists have supplied many patients with happiness and dazzling smiles for many years.
How Important is It?
Some people are born and blessed with beautiful straight teeth and a dazzling smile, but for the rest of us, orthodonture can give what nature did not. Many people, even adults, are ashamed of their smile due to imperfections such as protruding teeth or an under- or overbite. Both children and adults can benefit from braces.
In addition to cosmetic reasons for braces, there are other conditions that can be treated with braces such as TMJ. TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction causes the jaw to sometimes lock, restricting the mouth from opening more than a few inches. It is a painful condition and also causes the jaw to make a popping sound. This is just one condition that braces can correct.
Another problem that sometimes contributes to the overall condition of your smile is overcrowding. Some people do not have adequate room in their mouth to allow all of the teeth as they come in to be spaced evenly. Existing teeth are pushed forward, back, or sideways to make room for the new teeth. Depending on the number of teeth, the problem can be quite severe. This is one issue that can be resolved with a combination of braces and removing some of the teeth to allow more room to move.
Tip #1-Brushing & Flossing
It is very important to brush and floss often and thoroughly. This is for the good of your teeth, and the safety of the brackets and wires. Using a soft brush, go over both the top and bottom teeth individually, brushing from the top down on your uppers and from the bottom up on your lowers. It is imperative to remove all food particles between the teeth and braces.
A special triangular brush is used to reach hard-to-reach places between the brackets and wires. A Waterpik can help to get into places that brushes and floss cannot. After brushing, floss with the same see-sawing motion used without braces, taking extra care around the wires, brackets, and bands.
Tip #2-Ban Chewy Foods
It’s hard to give up some of the foods you love – gum (technically not a food, but), popcorn, caramels, and gummy bears – but sometimes sacrifice is needed, and it will all be worth it in the end. These foods, and ones like them, can easily damage braces by breaking wires, loosening brackets and adding more time to your treatment plan once you get back on track. Stay away from hard, crunchy, and sticky. No ice, plus you should never chew ice anyway, hard candy, and nuts. There are lots more, but you get the idea.
Tip #3-Brushing on the Fly
You will need, and want to, be able to remove stubborn foods from your braces when you are out and about. Anytime you eat something, clean out any leftovers. When eating out you will want to have a quick clean up to remove at least visible bits of food. Small, triangular, portable brushes made just for this circumstance can be purchased at most drug stores or from your doctor.
Tip #4-The Doctor Will See You Now
During treatment, regular orthodontic appointments for check-ups and adjustments will be necessary. It is important to attend all of these appointments to keep your smile plan on track. Missed appointments mean a longer course of treatment because all are important. If you cannot attend an appointment, notify your doctor as soon as possible, and reschedule for the next available date, not weeks ahead.
Tip #5-Stretch Your Smile
The doctor will, in some cases, apply elastic bands to aid in the straightening of some teeth. When you first receive new bands, they may be sore or uncomfortable for a few days until you get used to having them there, but wearing them always, except when brushing, is an important part of your overall treatment. Do your best to wear them as prescribed for the best results.
If you notice any popping, cracking, or jaw pain, notify your doctor as soon as possible. You may need some adjustments. Changing out your bands no longer than once every 12 hours will keep them from breaking and keep the correct pressure your doctor intends.
To schedule an examination with an orthodontist, improve self-esteem, and increase your overall physical and emotional health, call King Orthodontics to discuss options, including transparent aligners and Invisalign with Dr. Jack E. King or Dr. Samuel B. King.