Living with Braces

While modern braces can be comfortable and inconspicuous, there are some extra steps you can take in your central hygiene to look after them better.

Firstly, you need to continue brushing your teeth regularly – your dentist will show you the best approach.

You should also continue flossing daily and making regular visits to the dentist.

When you wear braces, it’s especially useful to limit any snacks between meals.

There are also some foods that your dentist may advise you to avoid such as nuts, popcorn, hard candy, chewing gum or caramel.

Some of these may interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires.

When you wear braces, you can still enjoy sports and other leisure activities.

Your dentist may recommend a protective mouth guard to cut any risk of injury to the mouth or jaw.

When you follow good oral hygiene practices, you can continue to wear braces comfortably while making a big difference to your smile and your dental health.

Differenent types of dental braces

Though many people still picture a “mouthful of metal” when they think of braces, there are now many more options available.

Dental braces work by applying pressure to the teeth so that they move gradually into a new position.

The pressure usually comes from a metal wire attached to tiny brackets placed on each tooth.

These brackets are what used to create the “metal mouth”.

However modern brackets are much smaller and are glued on the front of each tooth.

Added pressure is applied to the teeth using rubber bands called ligatures.

They can be made to look more attractive using different colors or gimmicks.

In addition to the much-improved traditional braces, there are now many more options:

– Mini Braces: Smaller than traditional braces

– Clear Braces: Porcelain braces with tooth-colored brackets

– Lingual Braces: Placed behind the teeth to be less noticeable

– Removable Braces: Similar to mouthguards and made of clear plastic

Whichever types of braces you choose, they all work in the same way and help you have straighter teeth which leads to better dental health and a great smile.

How braces look good

Braces are orthodontic appliances that can help straighten out crooked and crowded teeth.

As well as making you look better, they can help improve your dental health.

Many people have been put off wearing them because of how they look but modern braces can be very inconspicuous.

One way of making them inconspicuous is by having the brackets – the part that attaches to each tooth – fixed to the back of the tooth.

The brackets can be also be made in many different materials such as metal, ceramic or plastic so they can be more attractive or less visible.

They can also be designed to appear less noticeable – say be being clear or tooth-colored.

You can also choose to have them in virtually any color. You can even have them gold-plated or glowing in the dark.

Some people like to have their braces shaped in as something distinctive such as a heart or a football.

What an orthodontist can do for you

Orthodontic treatment is about straightening out crooked and crowded teeth and may use special appliances such as braces.

While most dentists can deal with minor orthodontic problems, they will often refer patients to an orthodontist for more specialist care.

Orthodontists are dentists with additional training and they specialize in the treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

One of the key aspects of orthodontics is straightening teeth and correcting jaw alignment.

This can be done through braces, corrective procedures and other ‘appliances’.

There are two types of braces:

– Removable: The patient can take these out of their mouth at any time

– Fixed Braces: These are worn all the time and have to be removed by a dentist

The length of time a person needs to wear braces varies depending on the condition but most people wear braces for between one and three years.

After the braces are no longer needed, the person usually need to wear a ‘retainer’ for some time that holds teeth in their new position.

Modern braces are much more comfortable than ever and usually require fewer adjustments than older apparatus.

Choosing the right toothbrush for your needs

It would be easy to get overwhelmed by the huge range of dental care products now available.

Even looking just at toothbrushes present a wide range of choices.

There are hundreds of manual and powered toothbrushes to choose from.

Start by looking for products that carry the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance – this is an important symbol of a the product’s safety and effectiveness.

When you buy a toothbrush, replace it every three to four months. Replace it sooner if the bristles become frayed as a worn toothbrush will not clean your teeth properly.

Make it easy for your children to brush their teeth by choosing a child-sized toothbrush and make it more interesting for them by selecting fun colors and designs.

Often people who have difficulties with hand, arm or shoulder movements find that powered toothbrushes are the best choice. However, it’s also possible to make a few small changes to modify a manual toothbrush and make it easier to use.

For example, you can:

– Enlarge the handle with a sponge, rubber ball, or bicycle handle grip
– Lengthen the handle with a piece of wood or plastic
– Bend the handle slightly while running it under hot water

Your dentist will give you tips on what toothbrushes would be right for your needs.