Avoid These Mistakes to Get The Best Results from Braces
When you get braces to help straighten your teeth and correct alignment issues in your jaw, you definitely want to make sure you end up with the best possible outcome. Avoiding these common mistakes will help increase comfort & speed up orthodontic treatment to get you a great looking smile.
Having straight teeth does more than just boost your self-confidence. Properly aligned teeth ensure your bite pattern is correct, which is an important part of our dental health. Misaligned teeth can cause trouble with chewing and speaking, and can also make it more difficult to properly clean our teeth, as well as increase our likelihood of tooth grinding and other types of oral health issues. When it is necessary to improve the alignment of your teeth, your dentist will likely recommend braces to correct the problem.
Braces are a simple and effective solution for the problem of misaligned teeth. However, in order to truly get the most out of them, you need to be diligent in caring for them from the start of your treatment to the very last day you wear your braces. In addition, there are several other things to keep in mind in order to maximize the effect of the treatment and minimize the overall timeline needed to achieve the final results.
Let’s start by taking a look at how you can care for your braces properly, and how to avoid some common mistakes that could potentially lead to unforeseen problems down the road.
Caring for Your Braces the Right Way
There are many different types of braces that are used to straighten teeth, each with their own benefits and advantages. Of course, with all types of braces there will be recommended procedures and techniques for cleaning and caring for them. following these guidelines will help make it easier to keep your whole mouth clean from the very start to the moment when your braces are removed at the end of the treatment. If your braces are not kept clean, it can result in plaque and tartar deposits, stains on the exposed areas of tooth enamel, bad breath, and irritated gums. Use the following tips to help clean your braces and avoid these potential issues.
Cleaning Metal and Ceramic Braces
Traditional metal braces and ceramic braces consist of several different components. Brackets are attached directly to each tooth using a strong dental adhesive. Arch wires run through each bracket and connect them all together. Ligatures are small elastic bands that fit over the arch wires on each bracket, holding them securely in place. Once the parts are all linked together, the braces exert a constant pressure on the teeth, encouraging them to gradually shift position over time towards their proper alignment. At regular intervals, the wires are replaced with new ones to continue the gradual movement of the teeth until the treatment is completed.
Cleaning these types of braces is easy, but it does take care and attention, as food particles and bacteria can get caught in brackets, around ligatures, and behind arch wires. Brushing is important, as always, but you’re definitely going to want to supplement your brushing routine with a more thorough flossing process that goes in behind the wires and around the brackets, in addition to the spaces between the teeth. To help get dental floss through some of the harder-to-reach areas, your dentist or orthodontist will likely recommend you use a floss threader tool, or alternatively you can use an interdental pick to help get into every nook and cranny so bacteria has no place to hide. Finally, rinsing with an antibacterial oral rinse will help kill any lingering bacteria and wash away remaining loose particles from around the various parts of your braces.
Cleaning Invisalign Clear Aligners
The Invisalign tray alignment system is a very popular alternative that provides greater comfort and a far more aesthetically-subtle appearance when compared to traditional styles of braces. Invisalign works by using custom-molded tooth aligners that fit over top of your teeth, similar to a sports mouthguard, but they are made from very low-profile and completely transparent plastic material. These aligners are sculpted to exert the same type of constant pressure as traditional braces, and are replaced at regular intervals to continue the treatment process until the teeth reach their desired positions.
Invisalign aligners are so comfortable, many people even forget they are wearing them! Plus, you can easily remove and replace them to make it more convenient to eat, as well as simpler to maintain your at-home oral care routine. With the aligner removed from your mouth, you can brush and floss your teeth just as you always would. To clean the aligner itself, simply rinse them with cold, fresh water and use a secondary toothbrush (not the same one you use on your teeth) to gently scrub them with a mild soap. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly to wash away any soap residue before replacing the aligner onto your teeth.
Keeping Your Braces Safe and Protected
Another mistake that can easily be avoided is to take steps to protect your braces and keep them safe from potential damage or accidents. If you intend to participate in contact sports and other physical activities, you’ll need to get a proper mouthguard for maximum protection. A regular mouthguard simply won’t work with braces on your teeth, so be sure you get a custom-fitted mouthguard from your dentist or orthodontist for optimum safety and protection against impacts and shocks.
Of course, you won’t be wearing your sports mouthguard 24 hrs a day, so you’ll also need to keep safety in mind at all times for the duration of your orthodontic treatment. Minimize unnecessary risks, such as playful roughhousing for example, as an accidental bump to the mouth can damage your braces, cause pain, or result in other kinds of trauma to your teeth, gums, or lips. In short, just do your best to be as careful as you can to keep your braces safe from avoidable accidents.
Stay On Track with Your Appointments
Orthodontic treatment is the kind of thing that works best if you stick to the plan created by your dentist, and that means keeping on top of your dental appointments. Set yourself reminders or notifications to make sure you’re always aware of upcoming appointments, as missing adjustments will just result in a longer overall treatment timeline. In addition, these regular appointments are important so that your orthodontist can closely monitor your progress at predetermined intervals to review and make any revisions to the plan that may be required.
Talk to Your Dentist & Orthodontist
One of the most underestimated tips we can offer to get more out of your orthodontic treatment is to have an open dialogue with your dental care providers. Have frank and honest discussions with them about how your mouth has been feeling, changes to the state of your overall health that may occur, and any concerns that you might have along the way. Your dentist and orthodontist are committed to providing the best care for you, and want your treatment with braces to be a positive experience. The better you communicate with them throughout the process, the better your ultimate outcome will be.
Start Down the Road to Straighter Teeth with Braces
Choosing to improve the alignment of your teeth with orthodontics is a big decision, but it’s one that can have a profound impact on your overall state of health and well-being. If you’re ready to move forward with braces and get your smile in style, contact the team here at Georgian Dental today. We’ll be glad to answer any and all questions you may have, and work with you to create a treatment plan to achieve your goals in a way that fits your unique needs. We look forward to seeing you for your next appointment!