BRACES AND ORTHODONTICS

Braces and other modalities of orthodontics may be recommended by an orthodontist for the purpose of improving the orofacial appearance of a patient, enhancing growth and development of the jaws and enabling an aesthetic outcome. Problems such as crowded or crooked teeth, underbites or overbites, and incorrect jaw positions can be corrected with proper orthodontic treatment. Such problems, when left untreated, can result in gum disease, tooth decay, earaches and headaches, chewing or biting problems, and even difficulty speaking.

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR ORTHODONTICS?

Patients experiencing orthodontic problems can benefit from orthodontic treatment at practically any age. The best time for orthodontic treatment is determined after a complete examination, and can start in early adolescence as the mouth and jaw bones are still growing at this time. Consequently, the teeth can be easily accessed for straightening. Even so, it should be understood that braces are not only for children and teenagers. An increasing number of adults are also now choosing orthodontic treatment to correct bite issues and improve the look of their smiles. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, all children should receive an orthodontic screening by age seven. Permanent teeth typically begin to come in by this age and it is at this age that most orthodontic problems will become apparent. Since growth and development are rapid, it is a good time for children to be evaluated. At this time, the orthodontist can determine if treatment is needed, and if so, what treatment is most appropriate and when it should begin.

Types of Braces

Ready to pick the colors of the rainbow for your braces? Metal braces have been used for over 100 years to straighten teeth, but are now smaller, less noticeable, and more comfortable. They are a great option for children and adults, and allow treatment to occur while adding your personal color choices. Metal braces are a fun and easy way to get a beautiful smile.
We know you want to stand out in a crowd, and now you can. With WildSmiles Braces you get to pick from a variety of fun shapes including Stars, Hearts, Sports Balls, Football, Flowers and Super-Diamonds for your front teeth. Add your colors to the mix and your smile is ready to pop!
Is a modeling or public speaking career in the works? Ceramic braces provide the “clear” option to metal braces. Small, aesthetic, and comfortable, they will provide all the benefits of braces but are very hard to notice. Do not be surprised if your family and friends cannot tell you have them on.
The Invisalign system is a series of clear trays called aligners that are generated by computer simulation to gradually move teeth. Dr. Shireen will work on your virtual model to design your series of trays that will comfortably move your teeth in a short period of time. Invisalign is a wonderful cosmetic option for adults and teenagers. Contact us today to see if you can achieve an Invisalign smile – and read more here.

Life With Braces

Eating With Braces

There will be a small learning curve to eating with braces. Most people learn quick and it becomes second nature. Avoid sticky, gooey, crunchy items like toffees, ice, or jolly ranchers. It is always advisable to start with soft foods to go through an adjustment phase and then progressively incorporate regular foods on a daily basis. Being careful with your new braces allows treatment to progress efficiently.

Foods to Avoid

Please avoid these foods while wearing braces.
  • Sticky: Gum, caramel, tootsie rolls, peanut butter, toffee, taffy, granola bars, frozen candy bars
  • Hard: Apples, carrots and other raw vegetables, chewing ice, nuts
  • Crunchy: Popcorn, chips, hard tacos, celery
  • Tough: Bagels, corn on the cob, sandwiches, steak, ribs, beef jerky

General Soreness

Braces do not hurt, however soreness is expected. You will experience this for a few days when your braces are first placed and then for a day or so after each adjustment. We recommend you use an OTC pain reliever and a salt water rinse to deal with the discomfort. If the appliance is causing irritation, cover that part with dental wax. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Loosening of Teeth

Part of the process of creating your new, beautiful smile is moving your teeth; to move them, they need to loosen up first. “Loose teeth” are a natural part of the process. Once your teeth are in the right place, they will settle into their new position.

Loose Wire, Bracket or Band

Besides some soreness, it is normal to expect some loosening of teeth. That is essentially how teeth move, so do not be alarmed. Wires and brackets can also come loose. When they do, give us a call. If you have a loose wire, you can try to push it back into place with the eraser end of a pencil until you can see us. If a part comes off, save it and bring it to the appointment. Please use wax as needed to help with any discomfort, and we will be happy to see you to resolve the issue.

Care of Appliances & Brushing

The goal with orthodontic treatment is to achieve a beautiful straight smile with a functional bite, and maintain the overall health of your teeth and gums. To that effect it is very important to brush and floss diligently during your treatment and continue your cleaning appointments with your general dentist. An electric toothbrush helps remove plaque effectively and diligent flossing or use of a Waterpik will help prevent cavities in between your teeth. Let us know if a demonstration of proper technique is required, and we will be happy to help.

Types of Orthodontic Appliances:

No longer are patients restricted to metal braces. In the last few years, a variety of different orthodontic treatment devices have been introduced. There are typically three types of braces.
  • Traditional Braces

    The most popular type of braces are those that are bonded to the front of teeth. Such brackets may be made of metal, plastic, or ceramic. The least noticeable are ceramic brackets that are either tooth-colored or clear. In the last few years, brackets have become smaller and therefore less noticeable than traditional metal braces.
  • Lingual Braces

    Also known as concealed braces, lingual braces are attached to the back of teeth, which means they are hidden from view. There are some potential drawbacks to lingual braces, including the fact that they can be more difficult to clean than other types of braces. Also, lingual braces may not be appropriate for severe cases and may patients may require additional time to get used to them.
  • Clear Aligners

    Among the most recent introductions to the world of orthodontics is an appliance known as aligners such as Invisalign. These clear appliances can be customized and are removable, which means they won’t trap plaque and food between the teeth; a common problem with metal braces. A set of aligners is worn for approximately one to two weeks and can be removed for flossing, brushing, and eating. It presents a clear option to patients that are concerned about the aesthetic appearance of their smile while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
  • Colored Elastics

    Colored elastics are small rubber bands that are used for holding the wires to braces. These types of orthodontic devices are most popular with children, who can select the colors they prefer. For instance, the patient might choose their favorite color or elect to coordinate the colors of their bands with an upcoming holiday. The ability to choose the color of the bands used on their braces often helps younger patients to feel more involved in their orthodontic treatment.

Overall, braces and orthodontics devices today tend to be much less visible and uncomfortable than they once were. Any type of orthodontic treatment will still require a period of adjustment. Foods can become caught in wires and around brackets. Flossing and brushing can be more time-consuming. Patients may also experience slight soreness following an adjustment. Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can help to alleviate minor tooth discomfort. The introduction of more flexible, lighter wires has significantly reduced the amount of discomfort experienced during treatment.

Early Intervention

When orthodontic treatment is begun in young children, it is usually referred to as interceptive orthodontics. This form of treatment may begin as early as age 6 or 7. The course of treatment prescribed for a patient will depend on individual needs and circumstances. For instance, in some cases, the patient’s dental arch may be too small for all of the teeth to properly fit. In the past, the solution for overcrowding problems was usually to extract some of the patient’s permanent teeth to allow space. The patient could then be fitted with fixed braces to ensure teeth were positioned properly. Since the patient’s jaw is still growing, early intervention can help to avoid the need to extract teeth. A device known as a palatal expander can be used for expanding the patient’s upper dental arch. After the dental arch is the proper size, there is an improved chance that the child’s adult teeth will emerge in the proper position. In some cases, the patient’s teeth may still be somewhat crowded even after they have all come in or erupted. When that is the case, it may still be necessary to extract some permanent teeth to allow room for the teeth to be aligned properly and the bite corrected. Early intervention may also be beneficial when the jaws and dental arches are not in the proper position. These problems can be improved or even corrected with the use of functional appliances. Additional treatment is typically required at a later date; however, the treatment may be less intensive and shorter in duration. When further treatment is required, it is referred to as two-phase treatment. Protruding front teeth as well as crossbites often require early intervention. If left untreated, a crossbite can result in the jaws growing unevenly. A child with protruding front teeth could be at risk for the teeth being fractured in the event of a fall.

How Long Is Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?

The length of time a patient will need to wear braces will depend on his or her specific treatment plan. In general, the more complicated the patient’s bite or alignment concerns, the longer treatment will take. Also as the patient grows older, the length of treatment may increase as growth slows down. Patients can typically expect to be in orthodontic treatment for at least 12 months, possibly up to 24 months, followed by diligent retainer wear. At mBrace Orthodontics, we are here to help you design a beautiful, confident smile. Whether you are an adult looking for an alternative to traditional braces or your child or teen has orthodontic issues that need to be corrected, we are happy to help. Please contact our office at 469-362-6820 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

mBrace Frisco Orthodontics

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