Dental braces are devices used in orthodontics that align and straighten teeth

What are Braces?

Dental braces (also known as orthodontic cases) are devices used in orthodontics that align and straighten teeth and help to position them with regard to a person’s bite, while also working to improve dental health. They are often used to correct various flaws of the teeth and jaw such as crooked teeth.

When should I get my Braces done?

Patients with orthodontic problems can benefit from treatment at nearly any age. An ideal time for placement of braces is between 10 and 14 years of age, while the head and mouth are still growing, and teeth are more accessible to straightening.

And braces aren’t just for kids. More adults are also wearing braces to correct minor problems and to improve their smiles.

Will the treatment be uncomfortable?

The interconnecting wires of traditional braces are tightened at each visit, bearing mild pressure on the brackets or bands to shift teeth or jaws gradually into a desired position.

Your teeth and jaws may feel slightly sore after each visit, but the discomfort is brief. Keep in mind also that some teeth may need to be extracted to make room for teeth being shifted with braces and for proper jaw alignment.

How long will I have to wear Braces?

This depends on your treatment plan. The more complicated your spacing or bite problem is, and the older you are, the longer the period of treatment. Most patients can count on wearing full braces between 12 and 24 months.

What types of Braces will I have to wear?

Your dentist will know what appliance is best for your particular problem, but you often have a choice. Braces generally come in three varieties: the most popular type are brackets, metal, ceramic or plastic, that are bonded to teeth.

Ceramic brackets are typically clear or tooth-colored and are far less noticeable than metal brackets. Lingual or concealed braces are brackets that attach to the back of teeth, hidden from view. Both types of braces use wires to move the teeth to the desired position.

What are the foods and habits I need to avoid? 

Cut down on sweets, chips and soda. Sugary and starchy foods generate acids and plaque that can cause tooth decay and promote gum disease.

Cut healthy, hard foods like carrots or apples into smaller pieces. Sticky, chewy sweets like caramel can cause wire damage and loosen brackets. Avoid hard and crunchy snacks that can break braces, including popcorn, nuts and hard candy.

Also, no ice cube chewing, thumb sucking, excessive mouth breathing, lip biting and pushing your tongue against your teeth.

Image showing adult with Ceramic Braces
Image showing adult with Ceramic Braces

How to take care of your teeth with Braces

With braces, oral hygiene is more important than ever. Braces have tiny spaces where food particles and plaque get trapped. Brush carefully after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly and check your teeth in the mirror to make sure they’re clean.

Take time to floss between braces and under wires with the help of a floss threader. Have your teeth cleaned every six months to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Insufficient cleaning while wearing braces can cause enamel staining around brackets or bands.

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