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An Orthodontist usually recommends braces to improve a patient's "orofacial" appearance. Through orthodontic treatment, problems like crooked or crowded teeth, overbites or underbites, incorrect jaw position and disorders of the jaw joints are corrected. If left untreated, these problems can result in tooth decay, gum disease, headaches and earaches, as well as speaking, biting or chewing problems.
An Orthodontist has completed three years of advanced education in orthodontics (M.D.S) in addition to a four-year dental graduate program (B.D.S).
When is the right time for braces?
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. However Braces aren't just for kids.No matter your age, it's never too late to improve your dental health and beautify your smile. More and more adults are also wearing braces to correct minor problems and to improve their smiles. Orthodontics Align Crooked Teeth and Boost Self- esteem
What kind of braces will I have to wear?
Our Orthodontist 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.
Braces are custom-made appliances that use gentle pressure to straighten your teeth and correct your bite. While some practitioners still favor metal braces as the most reliable, new materials and other advances offer smaller, less noticeable braces than were available a generation ago, and these materials are equally effective. Instead of metal, you can opt for clear or tooth-colored ceramic braces, or removable invisible aligners. Ask your dentist for a recommendation on which type of braces would provide the best results for you.
Brace Options available:
Metal braces, made of high-grade stainless steel and attached to the front of teeth, are the most common. Some patients may complain about discomfort from metal brackets rubbing against the skin. If you experience any pain or discomfort, ask your dentist or orthodontist for some dental wax to place over the brackets.
Clear ceramic braces are worn on the front of the teeth just like traditional steel braces. Unlike metal braces, they blend with the color of the teeth for a much less noticeable appearance. They may look better but also may break more easily than metal braces.
Invisible braces are a series of clear, customized, removable appliances called aligners. Not only are these braces invisible, but they also are removable so they won't trap food and plaque between your teeth like metal braces. You'll wear each aligner for about two weeks and only remove it for eating, brushing and flossing. This may be an option for individuals with mild spacing problems.
Cosmetic braces worn by some as a fashion statement to enhance their looks or beauty. These are coloured Braces with low cost for cosmetic effect only.
How long will I have to wear braces?
That depends upon your treatment plan. The more complicated your spacing or bite problem is, and the older you are, the longer the period of treatment, usually. Most patients can count on wearing full braces between 12 and months, followed by the wearing of a retainer to set and align tissues surrounding straightened teeth.
Will 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. For patients with aligners, there may be some soreness as your mouth adjusts to each new plastic tray.
Do I have to avoid any foods or personal habits?
Yes. 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. More don'ts: ice cube chewing, thumb sucking, excessive mouth breathing, lip biting and pushing your tongue against your teeth.
What about home care of my 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.
How do I adjust to life with braces?
You probably will experience some discomfort or difficulty speaking or eating at first. While wearing braces, keep your teeth and brackets clean. If you wear cemented, non-removable braces, food and plaque can get trapped between teeth and gums. To reduce your risk of cavities, follow a regimen of brushing, flossing and rinsing, and reduce your consumption of sweets and carbohydrates. Plaque and sugar combine to make acid, which can cause decalcification (white spots) on teeth and tooth decay if left behind.
Which foods should I avoid?
It's a good idea to skip foods that can damage or dislodge braces. Hard foods such as candy, raw carrots, corn on the cob, pretzels, nuts, popcorn and crushed ice are off-limits. Sticky foods to avoid include caramel, taffy and gum. These foods can get stuck between teeth and gums or bend wires and knock bands or brackets loose. If this results in damage to braces, treatment may be extended.