What is Orthodontics?
If you struggle with large gaps, overlapping, or crooked teeth, our team of dental professionals at Luck Dental Clinic offers orthodontic dentistry to help you feel confident about your smile. Orthodontics addresses the diagnosis, prevention, interception, guidance, and correction of bad bites or dental irregularities. Orthodontics, or traditional braces, are extremely effective in improving oral health and giving patients the smile they desire.
Do orthodontic treatments work for people of all age groups?
It’s a common misconception that children and adolescents are the only ones able to use braces. However, traditional braces are suitable for people of all ages. No matter your age, this can be an effective treatment for misaligned teeth. Not only can braces straighten out your smile, but they also improve your oral health.
The Importance of Properly Aligned Teeth
Improper teeth alignment makes it difficult to maintain adequate oral hygiene, making you more prone to gum disease and tooth decay. Properly aligned teeth are easier to monitor, treat, and clean, which goes a long way in the maintenance of your dental health.
Aside from poor oral hygiene, misaligned teeth can also affect the manner in which you bite and chew. When the upper and lower jaw doesn’t align perfectly, it can result in dental conditions such as bruxism, TMJ disorder, and erosion of the tooth enamel. These conditions can have painful symptoms as well as result in tooth damage.
What Issues Can Braces Be Used For?
While many people today opt for invisible braces as an alternative option to standard orthodontic treatment, they aren’t as effective in correcting a wide range of dental problems. Clear aligners are effective in treating mild to moderate dental problems. In comparison, traditional braces are effective in correcting:
- Overlapping teeth
- Gaps in teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Teeth that require vertical shifting
- Teeth that require rotation
- Bite problems such as open bite, crossbite, underbite, and overbite
How Traditional Braces Work
In orthodontics, gentle yet consistent pressure is applied at strategic areas of the mouth, allowing the teeth to gradually shift into their proper position, giving you the smile you desire. With conventional orthodontics, custom braces made of metal brackets and connected wires are affixed to the back and front of all teeth. Each month, your dentist will tighten the wire in order to gradually allow the teeth to shift into place in the coming weeks. Over time, these small movements will shift your teeth into the perfect position, giving you a new, flawless smile.
Depending on the treatment plan curated by your dentist, patients may need accessories such as bands. Since every patient’s case is unique, the treatment plan is tailored to their needs, meaning timelines vary. However, orthodontic treatments typically last 24 months on average.
Are braces painful?
Getting braces doesn’t hurt during the appointment, and it takes between one to two hours for them to be placed. You may experience some soreness or discomfort for the first week you have them as you adjust. Additionally, each time they’re adjusted by your orthodontist, you may also feel sore for a few days. For pain relief, you can use over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen.
Maintaining Your Braces
Once you get your braces, you’ll need to avoid certain foods that can become trapped between the braces and your gumline. These foods include:
- Hard candy
- Chewing gum
When you have braces, your teeth are more prone to trapping food, leading to tooth decay. Be mindful of how often you consume sugary beverages and starchy foods that can eat away at your tooth enamel.
During your orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to make sure to visit the orthodontist for adjustments every 8 to 10 weeks. This allows your orthodontist to ensure you’re maintaining your oral health and appropriately taking care of your braces.
How do I clean my teeth with braces?
It’s important to be extra mindful of your oral care when you have braces. Brushing your teeth after meals will keep food from becoming lodged in between your braces and teeth. Your orthodontist will provide you with special floss, so you’re able to floss around the braces at least twice a day.
We recommend purchasing a Waterpik flosser, that way you can easily navigate around your braces and help reach those areas that are hard to clean. There’s also a special device called an interdental toothbrush that’s used to clean underneath and around wires and brackets.