Dental braces are used as a part of orthodontic treatment for correcting dental irregularities. They are used to straighten crooked teeth, as well as improve the aesthetics of your smile. Orthodontic braces are also used to correct problems that arise due to misalignment of teeth. These include overbites, open bites, underbites, and cross bites. Dental braces are more commonly recommended during childhood, because the jaw bones and bones surrounding the teeth are more pliable in children. Major types of braces are brackets which are made up of clear or tooth-colored ceramic, stainless steel or plastic; lingual braces which are attached to back of the teeth; and the traditional metal brackets.
How to Take Care of Dental Braces?
Taking appropriate care to keep the braces clean is the best way to ensure dental health. Regular cleanliness and general dental care is very essential during orthodontic treatment.
There is a possibility of accumulation of food and plaque in between the small nooks and crannies created by bonded brackets, which can lead to tooth decay. This can be prevented by brushing the teeth after every meal. It is advisable to brush the teeth thoroughly, using a fluoride toothpaste, and special toothbrushes designed for cleaning dental braces.
You can try an electronic toothbrush, which helps to clean the high-risk areas. You can also use a proxy brush to clean the areas between the teeth. Flossing is also essential to clean the teeth and braces. You can use toothpicks or other interdental devices to clean the areas under the brackets. You should use medicated mouthwash every time, after brushing, in order to remove bacteria from the dental braces. While brushing, ensure that brush does not damage the braces.
When you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, you may find it difficult to chew food. You should avoid chewing hard, sticky foods such as hard bubble gum, nuts, chips, popcorn, hard bread crusts, apples, or carrots. These foods can damage the braces. Also, avoid foods and drinks that contain excess sugar or starch, because they can cause rapid growth of bacteria in and around the braces. This can lead to tooth decay due to acid production by bacteria.
Braces and Sports
During orthodontic treatment, you should be alert and careful while participating in sport activities, so as to avoid injury and mishaps, which can damage the dental braces, and lead to severe complications. Therefore, you should wear a specially designed mouth guard in order to avoid any damage to orthodontic appliance and teeth.
According to the latest research, certain medications such as aspirin, can decrease the number of osteoclasts, by inhibiting prostaglandin secretion. This can minimize tooth movement, resulting in extended duration of the orthodontic treatment. Therefore, medications that contain aspirin should be avoided during orthodontic treatment.
A successful orthodontic treatment with good care of dental braces and proper dental hygiene offers an improved facial appearance by removing dental irregularities.