Adult and Children’s Orthodontics
Braces are suitable for both adult and children as it harnesses the body’s own abilities to remodel itself to achieve the patient’s ideal smile. This procedure can improve your facial profile, help with breathing and align teeth to a functional position.
Adult braces is for patients that have lost most if not all of their baby teeth, with this process occurring around the ages of 12 to 13. If braces are placed at an earlier age, the adult teeth are more compliant to move into the correct position. Adult braces are the most common type of orthodontic work done and is suitable for patients above 12 years of age.
Children’s braces are available when there is a need for early intervention to utilise the body’s growth to prevent potential problems in the future.
Before the implementation of braces, an oral examination by the dentist is required. All teeth should be examined clinically and X-rays need to be taken to ensure the positioning of the teeth in the jaw and to ensure there are no other problems with the teeth that need to be done first. If dental braces is appropriate for the patient’s situation, further decisions such as the type of braces and duration of treatment will be discussed.
Before the procedure, all teeth should be cleaned and polished to ensure there is no plaque on the tooth surface. This helps the dental bracers bond properly to the teeth. Dental cement is then placed to hold the brackets in place on each tooth and the bond is strengthened through a high-intensity light. The dental arch wires are then put in place afterwards. The placement process takes up to 60 minutes to ensure everything is positioned properly.
After the dental braces are placed, regular appointments (every four to six weeks). Each adjustment appointment will allow the dentist to track the movement and progress of the teeth, while making ongoing decisions on the strategy that should be employed to achieve the teeth position. A typical appointment comprises of the replacement of elastic ties as the stretch and pressure become weaker in time. In general, patients will feel tightness or soreness in the mouth after each appointment which is normal. This is due to the change in position of the teeth as they react to the re-tightened pressure that is inflicted by the dental wire on the braces. The frequency of each appointment will be advised by the dentist as it depends on the intended movement of the teeth and type of wire used.
When the teeth are positioned as desired, it marks the conclusion of the treatment which is followed by the removal of the braces. This process involves the removal of the ties and wires, followed by the bond between the brackets and the teeth. The dental cement should be gently broken and the adhesive bonds should be easily released. The adhesive dental remains on the teeth in order to prevent damage of the enamel and teeth in the removal process. The remaining cement can be removed via a dental handpiece. Some patients may notice inflammation of the gums following the removal but this typically subsides after a couple of days with adequate oral care.
Plastic retainers will be made after the braces are removed and the patient is required to wear the retainers. The retainers will support the new position of the teeth and improve the retention of the treatment. Patients are normally advised to fix a bar to the back of the teeth to give additional support and prevent the teeth from deviating from their position. Follow up appointments to the dentist is required to ensure that the treatment was successful and any concerns from the patient are resolved.
Duration of treatment: Approximately 1.5 to 2.5 years depending on the teeth and complexity of the case. The dentist will be able to advise accordingly.
Caring for your Braces
Good oral hygiene is essential at all stages of your life but being extra diligent of your oral hygiene when you have braces on will prevent staining, bad breath and keep your gums healthy. Brushing your teeth after every meal is recommended, but if it is not possible giving your mouth a rinse also helps remove any plaque or food that might have been built up during your meal.
How should you take care of your teeth with braces on?
Brushing your teeth is important regardless of orthodontic treatment, but when you are wearing braces it is easier for food and plaque to get between the brackets and cause problems. To ensure that your teeth remain healthy even after the treatment, be diligent with your brushing. Although it is generally recommended that people only need to brush twice a day, people with braces are always encouraged to brush and rinse after every meal. Keeping a toothbrush and toothpaste handy when you are out is an easy way to ensure your mouth is clean and fresh all day.
Start brushing at the gum line of the teeth while holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle towards your gums. Once you have cleaned the gum line, hold the toothbrush at a downward angle on the top of the brackets and then at an upward angle to clean the bottom of the brackets. You can either use a normal toothbrush or electric toothbrush as per personal preference.
Flossing with braces can be difficult but it is a step that should not be ignored. Flossing helps remove any plaque build-up and food particles that are stuck in your braces or between your teeth. There are several options for flossing such as flossing tape, floss threaders or interdental brushes. These are widely available at your local supermarkets and pharmacies. Remember to be gentle while flossing and do not apply too much pressure as it can damage the braces which will mean a trip back to the dentist to fix it. If you have any questions on how to use these flossing options, feel free to consult your dentist at your appointment.
There are certain foods that you should avoid during orthodontic treatment as it can break or bend the braces when you have it on. Foods that are generally chewy, sticky, crunchy or hard should be avoided in order to make sure there is no damage done to the braces. Sugary food and drinks should be avoided as these can potentially cause staining and decay around your brackets. Depending on the individual, these stains can be permanent and be obvious when the braces are removed.
Here are some foods that you should avoid while wearing braces:
- Chewy foods such as caramel and liqourice
- Crunchy foods such as popcorn
- Sticky foods such as caramel and gum
- Hard foods such as nuts and pretzels
- Sugary foods such as lollies
- Avoid forcefully biting into foods such as apples, corn, raw carrots etc
If you are wearing braces, you will be motivated to do everything to make sure that you achieve the best result after the process. Taking care of your teeth, flossing and thinking about the food you eat is a simple but effective way to make sure you the smile you envision when the braces come off.
Affordable Interest Free payments
Here at Edens Landing dental, we understand that the creation of a great smile can have an incredible effect on your life and thus we make it affordable and offering interest free payment plans which allow you to slowly pay off treatment.