How to Care for Braces

Care is needed to keep the braces in good repair. It is not recommended to bite hard food items, and certainly non-food items such as packaging, or writing instruments. Also, for the duration of your orthodontic treatment with braces, it is advised to stay away from sticky foods such as caramels, or gum, because they can loosen brackets, or distort the arch wire. If such a thing happens, a visit to your dentist or orthodontist is needed in order to repair the braces.

Sometimes, an elastic or donut can come off, or the arch wire can stick out, poking the inside of the cheek. If this happens, you may be able to reattach the elastic with a pair of tweezers. The arch wire can be coaxed back into place, taking care not to cause injury with the loose end. Always make sure to call your dentist or orthodontist afterward to make sure that the braces are functioning properly, as any setback can cause treatment to take longer to complete.

Headgear

This orthodontic treatment is to correct malocclusion in a patient whose jaw is still growing. It is fitted around the head or neck, and it puts targeted pressure, guiding the movement of the teeth, and growth of the jaw. There are different types of headgear which are used at different stages of orthodontics.

Removable Appliances

These appliances are not considered to be as precise as braces, however, they can be used to move one or more teeth in an arch. They are fitted to the mouth from impressions that are taken, and can be worn before, during or independently of braces.

Retainers

Once orthodontic treatment is over, and the brackets removed, the maintenance phase starts. Retainers are used to keep the newly aligned teeth in their positions. Retainers can be bonded to the teeth (fixed) or in the form of a removable appliance. They can either be worn full time or part time.

 Oral Surgery

Your dentist may need to remove a tooth from an overcrowded arch as part of orthodontic treatment. Sometimes, jaw surgery is needed to correct a size or position difference between the upper and lower jaws. If Jaw surgery is required, your dentist or orthodontist will refer you to a maxillofacial surgeon who has special education in this area.

Posted on by Dr. Ashnaei in Blog

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