Braces are used in correction of the alignment of teeth which leads to a beautiful smile, enhanced lifestyle and improved oral health. This treatment is known as orthodontic treatment.
When should we go for orthodontic treatment?
- Crowding of tooth
- Straightening of tooth
- Closing spaces between tooth
- Correction of facial appearance
- Correction of bite issues
How do braces work?
They work by applying continuous pressure onto the teeth to move it in a specific direction and the bone surrounding changes to adapt it thus helping in retaining them in new position.
When can orthodontic treatment be started?
Orthodontic treatment can be started at the age of 6. At this age the habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, mouth breathing that cause orthodontic problems can be prevented by use of orthodontic appliance. Observation from age of 7 to 10 helps in prevention of anomalies during development of permanent tooth and facial structure.
Can orthodontic treatment be done only in childhood?
There is no age limit for orthodontic treatment. As long as there are no periodontal problems, orthodontic treatment can be done.
Treatment done earlier is faster than later due to increase bone density in elder.
How long will it take for completion of treatment?
An average of 8 to 18 months. Duration may increase due missing of visits or improper follow up.
How frequently should I visit the dentist in course of treatment?
In every 4 to 6 weeks gap.
Does it hurt?
Tooth movements during the course of treatment involve force that might cause pain. Pain medication as prescribed by the dentist should be taken.
Why should I visit the dentist regularly?
To adjust the braces to align the tooth in desired direction.
What diet should be followed?
It is recommended to avoid hard foods.
Dos and don’ts:
- Avoid solid food for a day after braces have been fixed. Liquid or semisolid food is recommended.
- Avoid hard or chewy/sticky food like peanuts, murukku, chocolates etc.
- Avoid biting into large chucks of food like apple, guava. Fruits can be cut and eaten.
- While consuming non-vegetarian foods, have the fleshy part (avoid bones).
- Aerated drinks should be avoided.
- Brush twice daily to maintain oral hygiene using orthodontic brush. After every meal rinse with water to clean food stuck on your braces.
- When separators (elastic) are placed in your, always take soft diet as chewing with them is difficult. They may cause mild pain. Take medication as prescribed by the dentist.
- After completion of braces fixture, some edges may irritate cheeks and gums for few days, which is self-correcting. Take medication as prescribed by the dentist on ulceration.
- Generalized discomfort will setttle down in a weeks’ time.
What is a retainer and how long should we use?
The retainer is nothing but a wire that is fixed behind the teeth after braces have been removed in order to maintain the tooth in its new alignment. This has to be worn a minimum of one year. This should be a must, as the tooth tends to be loose till bone forms in its new position; hence without retainer to hold its position, they tend to revert to their old position.
TYPES OF BRACES:
These are metal braces in that need elastic bands to hold down the wire.
- Commonly used
- Preferred by kids
- Fewer chances of breakage.
- Braces are large
- Irritates your cheeks and gums
- Food restriction is high
- Duration of treatment is longer than self-ligating
These are braces tooth colored ceramic braces for esthetic conscious patients.
- More esthetic
- More comfortable
- Easier to maintain
- Chances of breakage is higher
- Longer duration than compared to that of self-ligating
- Can take up stains
These are braces that do not need elastic bands to hold the wire as they come with a self-lock system. These are available in metal as well as ceramic. Ceramic self-ligating is much more esthetic. Since these have a lock system more controlled and continuous force is given, hence duration of treatment is shorter.
- Smaller in size
- More comfortable
- Easy maintenance
- Shorter duration of treatment
- Suitable for all age group
These are braces that are placed on the inside surface of teeth. These are less preferred as they are unsuitable in many situations.