You have decided to get your teeth straightened out for a beautiful smile or have decided to secure your child’s future bright smile. But, getting braces seems like a daunting and scary experience. It need not be so with the right information and advice. This blog will clarify all your basic questions regarding getting braces and help you take a step forward in getting those beautiful teeth!
What are Dental Braces?
Dental braces are devices that are placed directly on teeth in order to move them. Dental braces are the most common method for achieving optimally aligned teeth. Aside from straightening teeth, dental braces are used to improve how our teeth come together between the upper and lower jaws. Braces for tooth movement fall under the dental specialty of ‘orthodontics’ which is the study and treatment of improper bites. Orthodontic treatment with dental braces is used for cosmetic as well as functional improvement with respect to teeth position.
Who are Orthodontists? What are they doing?
Orthodontics is a dental specialty that aims to prevent, diagnose and treat facial and dental irregularities. Orthodontists are doctors who specialize in orthodontic treatments.
Daily, orthodontists fit dental appliances like braces in patients to alter the position of the jaw and realign teeth. And training allows the primary focus to be on straightening the patient’s teeth.
An orthodontist has good judgment and strong problem-solving skills. Since they often treat children and teens, they should be knowledgeable in caring for patients of all ages.
What are the types of Dental Braces?
- Traditional metal braces
These are the dental braces that most imagine when they hear braces. They are made of metal (usually stainless steel in combination with titanium) which is attached to the teeth and allows positioning to be altered as required. They have metal brackets and rubber band ties that hold the wire into brackets.
- Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, except that they have tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend into teeth. However, they are typically more expensive than traditional dental braces and may become stained if they are not properly cared for.
- Lingual braces
These braces are like traditional metal braces except that they are customized to bond at the back of teeth. They cannot be seen from the outside.
They are not visible to other people but, they may be uncomfortable for the person wearing them as they come in direct contact with the tongue. Moreover, they often take longer to achieve the desired tooth alignment and are difficult to clean.
- Progressive or clear removable aligners
Also called invisible braces these are very distinctive because they do not involve brackets and wires but instead utilize a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners that are worn over the teeth.
This type of braces is preferable for many patients because they are almost invisible and allow greater freedom to eat and drink. But they are more expensive and cannot be used when it is a complex orthodontic case, such as extraction or jaw surgery.
Why Dental Braces are required?
Dentists usually suggest braces to improve facial appearance. Problems which require braces are many like
- Spacing between teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Teeth Proclamation (the condition of the teeth inclined forward)
- Jaw imposition
- Malocclusion (Imperfect positioning of the teeth when the jaws are closed)
What is the right age for braces?
Patients with orthodontic problems can visit for treatment at nearly any age. But it is a good idea to get an orthodontic evaluation by the time a child is 7 years of age.
The ideal time for placement of braces is between 10 to 14 years of age, while the head and mouth are still growing, and teeth are more conducive to straightening
Early orthodontic treatment is primarily used to prevent and correct bite irregularities. Several factors may contribute to such problems including genetic factors, early loss of primary teeth (milk teeth), and damaging oral habits such as thumb sucking.
Are braces painful? Is there any other alternative to braces?
Getting braces doesn’t hurt. It takes between one to two hours to have braces put on your teeth. First, your orthodontist put bands around your molars. This may involve some slight pressure or pinching, but it won’t be painful.
Most patients experience some discomfort in the first 3 to 5 days after their braces are placed. Soreness is a problem that occurs very rarely after braces. but if you experience soreness then the following tips will help:
- Use oral anesthetic gel. Apply topically on affected
- Take pain relief medicine if required
- Use an ice pack on the affected area
- Eat soft food
- Drink cold water and cold beverages.
Another struggle while wearing braces is speaking with braces on. But it is understandable, as It is not just braces that can affect your speech, any foreign object placed in your mouth can cause a slip or make it difficult while pronounce a few words.
Do braces change your face?
Yup, braces change your face, but for the better!!
An overbite can cause the upper lip to place out while causing the cheeks to look sunken. Braces can change the way your jaw and teeth fit together, creating a better smile.
Once you have braces, the change will be noticed right away, especially when you look back at old pictures. It will change the appearance of your lips.
After the brace’s removal, the positioning of teeth will still change with time. The forces of occlusion, wear, and the tongue come back into play. The teeth are held in position with retainers after appliance removal.
How long will treatment take, and how often will one have to come to an appointment?
Orthodontic treatment varies from patient to patient. It takes around 12 to 36 months. However, every dentist has their own estimation. This can also be determined by many factors like age, alignment of the teeth, the health of the teeth, oral hygiene, etc.
Appointments of the patient depend on their needs. Although the convention states that the patient returns every 6-8 weeks to have braces adjusted, the most average time to maintain braces is an appointment every 10 weeks.
What to eat and what not to while wearing braces?
What you can eat
The following foods can be eaten when you have braces, though they are not a complete list.
- Dairy products: cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks, yogurt, tofu, milkshakes, ice-creams.
- Bread: pancakes, chapati, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, buns
- Fruits: banana, custard apple, grapes, try to consume other hard fruits in the form of juice.
- Cereals: soft cooked rice, dal, khichdi, soup, porridge, vegetable stew,
- Meats: fish, chicken breast, fish stew, meatballs, tenderly cooked meat, boneless meat
- Vegetables: mashed potato, steamed vegetables, boiled beans, tenderly cooked greens.
What you cannot eat
Few food items are to be avoided while wearing braces. You should be very careful while selecting your food because this could affect your braces fitting. Some of the foods that need to be avoided are:
- Hard foods like apples, pineapple, chips, crispy fried meats, crispy fried chips, etc
- Any aerated drinks like Pepsi, Soda, etc.
- Sticky foods like sticky candies, gums, popcorn, jellybeans, etc
How to maintain oral hygiene while wearing braces?
Try to maintain good oral habits from the very first day of braces. The most important part is to keep your braces clean.
Avoid food items that tend to stick to your teeth and braces. After brushing, rinse your mouth twice a day with mouthwash.
Use inter-dental brushes and clean in between the brackets.
Do I have to wear retainers when braces come off?
Wearing retainers depends on the treatment, but most often, it is important to wear retainers after braces. Immediately after getting braces removed, you must wear them all the time for around 2 – 3 months. After the bone hardens around the teeth, you might not need to wear your retainers at all times.
Are braces expensive? What is the cost of braces?
The cost differs from patient to patient based on their dental need and the type of braces they choose. Braces function to move your teeth in their proper alignment and fix crooked teeth. It is always better to invest in things that improve your confidence and smile.
How do I look beautiful with braces?
- Accept your braces: Having braces is awesome because the result of it is more beautiful than before. It shows other people that you care about your looks and appearance.
- Choose your braces wisely: Braces have vibrant variety and colors. Think about the color bands you will choose. Avoid bright colors like orange, red, blue, etc. Choose black color or silver
- Consider asking for another style of braces: Ask your orthodontist about other types of braces. Some of your options are:
- Ceramic braces: they are the same size as the traditional ones, except they are colored to look like your teeth.
- Lingual braces: they are fitted in such a way that they are not visible to anyone.
- Invisalign: they are custom-made invisible mouth guards that will align your teeth over a period.
- Confidence: This is key to embracing your braces. Be confident and try to practice smiling with your braces.
On this note of confidence, hope you have acquired more information on braces. Call Partha Dental at 08500779000
or contact us online to fix a consultation with an orthodontist to get more clarity and to take a step forward in getting that beautiful smile.