A healthy smile is the product of proper oral hygiene and care. A routine visit to your dentist is useful in revealing whether you need braces or not. Here’s what you ought to know about getting a set of braces and maintaining your dental retainers.
- Early orthodontics work best
Even though braces and retainers work efficiently at any age, they often take longer in adults. At a young age, the gums and tissues are flexible and can adjust easily to align the teeth.
Using retainers, following brace treatment, for the recommended period ensures that the tissues don’t pull back to their original position later in life. Orthodontists recommend wearing retainers for much longer, sometimes indefinitely, compared to previous decades to counter tooth movement.
While braces are usually more successful in children, it’s becoming popular among adults who missed out their earlier window. This, however, may require additional corrective minor surgery.
- A dental floss is ideal for cleaning between the teeth
Good quality floss gets in between the teeth spaces to remove food remains and prevent plaque build-up. Additionally, special toothpaste with high levels of fluoride is ideal when you complement it with a mouthwash containing fluoride.
- It’s safer to store your temporary retainers in a plastic retainer case
Although temporary retainers are convenient to remove when the situation calls for it, they are easily lost or misplaced. Since regular replacement may cost you a fortune, it would be wise to have a special container to store your retainers.
- Permanent retainers hold newly straightened teeth in perfect formation
The elastic gum tissue is likely to pull back to relieve the tension caused by the braces. Permanent retainers prevent this, ensuring the teeth stay in place for as long as possible, naturally setting in place.
Permanent wire retainers have customized thin wires that attach to the inside surface of the lower front teeth. They may be removed at any time, once the orthodontist sees it fit.
- You should avoid using regular toothpaste with your retainers on
Regular toothpaste dulls the acrylic surface, causing more bacteria to stick to it. Special toothpaste and mouth rinse used with an additional solution of vinegar and water can help clean bacteria from the retainer.
Routine dental visits are necessary to clean out a possible plaque buildup.
- Dental braces and retainers can fix your bite
The bite is what happens when the set of teeth lock- there shouldn’t be large spaces left between the teeth. Braces and retainers gradually align teeth, so that chewing is comfortable.
- Follow the dietary advice
Two years of brace treatment often means paying extra special attention to your teeth. The tiny spaces of braces can easily trap certain foods and sugary snacks, and make cleaning a nightmare. Orthodontists recommend foods that make oral hygiene as easy as gurgling a mouth wash.
- Different types of braces are suitable for various patient needs
While braces serve the primary purpose of restoring a healthy smile, they are not exactly similar in function and appearance. There are at least four types of braces.
- Metal braces
These traditional braces are associated with the older generation and are the least popular. They are the least expensive type, characterized by metal brackets and wire. Personalized metal braces feature colored bands that make them more attractive.
- Ceramic braces
These braces are much less noticeable compared to the metal braces, though they are a bit more expensive. Extra oral hygiene is important to maintain the surface quality, as they can easily stain as a result of plaque buildup.
- Lingual braces
Similar to the traditional metal braces, the lingual braces have metal brackets and wire, except that they are attached to the inside face of the teeth, making them less noticeable. Getting used to these can prove a challenge at first, and regular adjustment may take more time.
These aligners are the most popular, especially among teens. They are custom made, with a series of 18 to 30 clear plastic aligners, replaceable after every two weeks. Invisalign treatment takes a bit longer, and it’s only for specific types of dental patients.
- Orthodontic treatment is not standard
The extent of the patient’s problem determines the scope of orthodontic treatment. Often, orthodontists use devices such as braces as part of the treatment, but this does not apply to all patients.
Some may just require retainers to adjust the teeth in place for a period. Depending on the complications, brace treatment takes 18-24months with retainers following for another few months as recommended.
Studies show that people who have gone through dental braces treatment are more confident and have a higher self-esteem. At least 20% of all patients are adults; clearly, good dental health is as important to a 60-year-old as it is to a 12-year-old.
Using braces as part of the orthodontic treatment easily brings out the best in your teeth; adjusting the bite for easy chewing, closing gaps between the teeth, straightening misalignment and ultimately bringing out the charm in your smile.