If you are one of the many people wearing braces, you need to know how to care for them properly. Expert Jonathan Alexander-Abt, based in London, England, knows braces can be a bit of a pain to take care of, but if you follow these simple steps, you will be able to keep your braces looking great and your teeth healthy!
Braces are a type of dental appliance used to align and straighten teeth. They consist of brackets bonded to the teeth and a wire that runs through the brackets. The wire is tightened periodically, gradually moving the teeth to their correct position.
Jonathan Alexander-Abt says braces are typically worn for one to two years and can be used to correct various dental problems. For example, they can close gaps between teeth or correct an overbite or overjet. In addition, braces can also improve the overall appearance of your smile. If you are considering braces for yourself or your child, consult with an orthodontist to discuss your options.
Assuming you have metal braces, the most common type, you will need to take extra care of your teeth and gums to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Here are some tips for taking care of your braces.
Brush at least three times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Don’t forget to brush where the wire meets your teeth. You may also want to use an interdental brush to get between the wires and teeth.
Jonathan Alexander-Abt says to floss at least once a day. It’s essential to floss under the wire as well as around it. You can use a floss threader to help you get the floss under the wire.
Use a mouth rinse daily, especially one that contains fluoride. This will help reduce the risk of cavities.
Be careful with what you eat. Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that damage the wires or brackets. Cut your food into small pieces and chew slowly and carefully.
By following these tips, you can help keep your teeth and gums healthy while you have braces!
At your initial consultation, your orthodontist will thoroughly examine your mouth and teeth to determine whether braces are the best course of treatment for you. If so, they will work with you to develop a treatment plan that outlines how often you will need to come in for cleanings and adjustments. Typically, patients with braces will need to visit the orthodontist every 4-6 weeks.
During these appointments, the orthodontist will check to ensure that the braces are still fitting correctly and make any necessary adjustments. They will also clean your teeth and remove any plaque or food debris that may have become caught in your braces. By following your orthodontist’s recommendations for regular cleanings, you can help ensure that your treatment is as successful as possible.
Even with the best care, accidents can happen. If you experience any orthodontic emergency, it’s essential to call your orthodontist right away. Common orthodontic emergencies include a loose bracket or band, a broken wire, or a loose tooth.
Your orthodontist will be able to advise you on how to best handle the situation and make any necessary repairs. In most cases, they will be able to see you for an emergency appointment within 24-48 hours.
Jonathan Alexander-Abt says people who wear braces need to take extra care when eating to avoid damaging their teeth or wires. Hard and sticky foods can cause brackets to come loose, while complex objects can break wires. As a result, it is essential to avoid chewy candy, whole nuts, and crunchy raw vegetables.
Soft fruits and cooked vegetables are generally safe, as most types of meat have been stewed or boiled until tender. Dairy products such as cheese and yogurt are also good choices. When in doubt, it is always best to err on the side of caution and avoid food that might potentially cause damage. With care, people with braces can still enjoy tasty and nutritious meals.
The average time frame for wearing braces is 18 to 24 months, although it can be shorter or longer depending on the individual. Once the braces are ready to come off, the orthodontist will remove them and take impressions of your teeth so that they can create a custom retainer.
You will need to wear your retainer as directed to maintain the new alignment of your teeth. In most cases, you will only need to wear it at night, but you may need to wear it for a more extended period if your orthodontist feels it is necessary.
If you are considering braces, it is essential to talk to an orthodontist to determine if they are the proper treatment for you. Once you have decided to move forward with treatment, follow your orthodontist’s instructions carefully to ensure a successful outcome. With good care, you can enjoy healthy and beautiful teeth for a lifetime.