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An Orthodontist usually recommends braces to improve a patients "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 arent just for kids.No matter your age, its 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 wont trap food and plaque between your teeth like metal braces. Youll 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 donts: 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 theyre 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?
Its 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.
Invisible” removable aligners are perhaps the highest profile orthodontic appliance, with widespread advertising in magazines and television. Whilst they have become increasingly sophisticated and refined it remains important to be clear about the circumstances in which these devices are best used and by whom.
It is important to seek an opinion from an Orthodontic Specialist who will be able to give authoritative advice on the options.
After any aligner treatment, retainers will be required to ensure the teeth maintain their corrected positions.
What are aligners?
Aligners are thin clear flexible plastic ‘mouthguards’ which fit closely over the teeth. A series of aligners is used to move the teethincrementally according to a treatment plan developed by the orthodontist. Aligner appliances are ideally suited to adult patients whose life-style or work commitments make it difficult for them to wear more visible conventional fixed appliances.
As with any other form of orthodontics, a proper orthodontic assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan is essential to successful aligner treatment. An accurate impression of the mouth is used to create the customised aligners. Each appliance moves the teeth a small distance towards the intended position before moving on to the next in the series until the final result is achieved. Aligners need to be worn full-time, day and night except for meal times.
When should aligners be used?
Aligners are best suited to cases needing simple alignment of teeth without extractions. It may be possible to carry out more complex treatments but an ideal result may require a short course of fixed appliances to upright the roots of the teeth.
Routine aligner treatments include:
- Mild dental irregularity
- Crowding which can be corrected with a slight expansion of the dental arch
- Crowding which can be corrected with minor reductions in tooth width (Inter-proximal reduction or slenderising)
- Mild spacing
When should aligners not be used?
These cases are much more effectively treated with conventional methods under the majority of circumstances.
- Moderate to severe crowding
- Treatments that require tooth extraction
- Treatments that require complex tooth movements particularly of the tooth roots
- Problems that reflect an underlying discrepancy in size or position of the jaws
AFTER BRACES ALWAYS RETAINERS
After your orthondontic treatment is finished, and your braces are removed, you will need retainers to hold your teeth in their new positions.
For how long do I need to wear retainers?
It takes time for the bone and all the tissues around your teeth to reorganise and therefore it is necessary to use retainers until your bite stabilises. In the first month after the braces are removed, the risk of relapse is very high.
Relapse means that the teeth can take up to one year or more to stabilize after treatment. If you had gaps between your teeth before treatment, the retention period will be longer.
Usually, retainers are worn for as long a time as you have had your braces. If your teeth move back to their original positions, you may need fixed braces again to correct them.
What Will My Retainers Look Like?
The retainers are individually designed to prevent teeth from reverting to their original positions. Retainers can take the form of a removable appliance or a fixed wire bonded at the back of your front teeth.
Do I have to Wear Them All the Time?
Your orthodontist will prescribe the retention plan that is best for you. Some retainers are used full-time for the first 6 months; after that, the retainers are worn only at night, for a few years. Other retainers are worn full-time for about a week, and solely at night thereafter. Fixed retainers are normally kept in place for 5 years.
Is it Important to Use Your Retainers as Instructed?
Removable retainers should be taken out during eating, contact sports and when you brush your teeth. To clean the retainers, remove them first and brush them in tap water using a toothbrush and some toothpaste. Brush your teeth after this.
The safest place for your retainers is in your mouth. If you are not using the retainers they should always be kept in a box. There is a great risk of losing retainers if they are wrapped in tissue paper after you remove them from your mouth.
How Will Retainers Affect My Daily Life?
A removable retainer has a wire holding the front teeth. It will be visible but much less than the fixed braces.
If you have a removable retainer in your upper jaw, it will take you one to two days to get accustomed to them and speak properly. It is normal to experience a lot of saliva in your mouth with a new retainer.
Always bring the box to store your retainers to be kept should you need to remove them. If you have a fixed retainer, you should spend more time to brush the back of your teeth. You have to brush all around the wire so that calculus will not form. You will be instructed on how to use dental floss with a floss-threader. Do remember not to use your front teeth to for biting hard foods or objects. Fixed retainers do not affect speech.
Will my teeth never change when the period of retention is over?
Bone has the capacity to change and remodel for as long as we live; that is why a broken bone can heal.
From 20 to 50 years of age, faces mature and teeth continue to push forward, causing crowding of the lower front teeth. This happens regardless of whether you have had wisdom teeth removed, extractions of teeth or previous orthodontic treatment for crowded teeth.
To avoid the risk of late crowding, removable retainers can be worn at night for a longer period and fixed retainers kept in for more some years.
The Final Stretch: Getting your braces off & Post-braces Oral Care
How long will it take to get my braces taken off?
About an hour.
Will I have advance notice that my braces are going to come off?
Our orthodontist will most likely have told you at your last adjustment that he expects youll be ready to have your braces removed at the next visit. However, this is only their best guess – if your teeth move unexpectedly, or not enough, between appointments, removal may be postponed.
Will it hurt?
No. You should feel a little pressure when the braces are being removed, but no pain.
However, your new retainer may hurt a bit.
What should I expect?
The orthodontist will use pliers to remove all the brackets, thoroughly scrape and clean all the glue off your teeth, and take a mold for your new retainer.
What will my teeth look like?
How your teeth will look depends entirely on how well you cared for them while wearing braces. They may look perfect if you cared for them well, or they may be stained with yellow tartar and marks called "white scars" if you did a poor job.
Dont expect to be completely finished with the orthodontist - almost all patients need to wear a retainer after they get their braces off to hold the teeth in their new positions.
How should I care for teeth afterwards?
Wait at least a month before any sort of bleaching or whitening treatment. This will give the newly exposed enamel time to become less sensitive.
Your teeth and gums will be a bit sensitive at first. Dont immediately rush out and binge on crunchy and chewy previously forbidden foods – ease into it.
Schedule a dental cleaning – there are likely areas that have been neglected over the past couple of years (although paying close attention to your oral hygiene will have helped with this).
Tips for dealing with your new retainer
It will be difficult to speak at first, and you may have a lisp. If you practice speaking, reading aloud, or singing as much as you can, this should go away in a day or so. It may feel embarrassing, but its the best way to get your mouth used to working around the plastic and wires.
You may also find yourself drooling or dealing with extra saliva at first. This is normal and will go away after the first day or two.
When taking your retainer out for a meal, do not leave it on a napkin! This is the most common way that retainers are lost because people accidentally throw them in the trash.
You may need to wear a mouth guard or a mouth splint at night. These devices prevent tooth movement by evening out the pressure in your mouth. Your Orthodontist will guide you whether you need to wear a Mouthgaurd.
A mouth guard or splint also creates a physical barrier between your upper and lower teeth to protect them from further damage. They also help reduce any grinding noises that you make at night.
Mouth guards are similar in appearance to those used in sports such as boxing. They are usually made out of bendy rubber or plastic and can be made by your dentist to fit your mouth. You will usually have to pay for this type of custom-made dental appliance.
Outstanding dental health for a lifetime, or finally having the beautiful smile of your dreams — whatever your goals, our Orthodontist’s suggestions for your care are based upon sound principles and the highest standards of health care that insure you the best long-term results.
An Orthodontist has completed three years of advanced education in orthodontics in addition to a four-year dental graduate program.Most initial consultations provide an opportunity to ask questions about orthodontic treatment such as:
What are the costs involved?
How will the braces correct my problem?
How long will I need to wear braces?
Will I be able to schedule appointments at convenient times?
Your initial appointment enables us to review your medical and dental history, discuss your treatment goals and conduct a comprehensive dental examination. Once we gather all essential information, we will share our findings and provide you with information and options to achieve your goals.
IMPORTANT: Patients under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Please alert the office if you have any adverse reaction / allergies to drugs or a medical condition that may be of concern, such as a heart murmur, diabetes, high blood pressure, artificial heart valves or joints, rheumatic fever, etc.; or if you are on heart medications, aspirin therapy, anticoagulant therapy, etc.
Functional appliances are devices used to correct a significant disharmony in the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. They work by influencing the growth and development of a growing patient.
The most common use of a functional appliance is to encourage the forward growth of a retrusive or "under-developed" lower jaw. The functional appliance holds the lower jaw forward over a period until the teeth, jaws and joints have "adapted" and the desired jaw position has been obtained.
The effectiveness of a functional Functional appliances align the jaws not the teeth, so they are usually used as a first stage of treatment (in a growing patient with a significant jaw disharmony) prior to the alignment of the teeth with fixed appliances (braces).
Appliance depends on:
- how much the appliance is worn
- how quickly the patient is growing
The most common types of functional appliance are listed below:
Fixed functional appliances:
- Herbst appliance (pictured)
- Cantilever bite jumper
- Fixed Twin Bock appliance
Removable functional appliances:
- Bionator (pictured)
- Twin Block appliance
- Teuscher appliance
- Frankel appliance
- Andreson appliance