Caring for Your Dental Braces

Common Problems with Braces Manassas, VA

Braces are among the most common ways to correct misaligned teeth and bite dysfunctions. This has been one of the treatments dentists most prefer. Braces are fixed to the patient’s teeth with cement, but they are not indestructible. It is critical that you take good care of them and follow your dentist’s instructions for maintenance.

Description and function of braces

Throughout time, people have been concerned about the way their teeth look. Braces have gone through many changes over the centuries. Today, dentists use stainless steel brackets along with wires and elastic bands to move teeth into the correct positions. The braces put constant pressure on the teeth and gradually move them into the desired position. Most patients will wear these for up to three years but as few as one year, depending on needs.

Regular follow-up

For routine dental care, people should see the dentist every six months. However, the visits are more frequent when it comes to managing the realignment of teeth. Patients will come in every four to eight weeks so the dentist can make adjustments and add different appliances to the braces. These may include rubber bands, power chains, spacers, headgear or retainers. At these appointments, the dentist will review the patient’s progress and will provide feedback and other instructions.

Keep on brushing

It is even more important to brush and floss diligently when a person has braces. The brackets can make it difficult for the toothbrush to reach every part of the tooth, so the patient must be meticulous and spending adequate time brushing at least twice a day. The person should floss daily, too, using a floss threader to get under and in between the wires.

Watch the diet

Braces are strong and are secure to the person’s teeth, but this does not mean breakage cannot happen. Anyone who wears braces should be cautious about chewing certain foods. Items such as jawbreakers and other hard candy, popcorn kernels, gum and caramel can cause problems. In addition, sugary food and drinks such as soda and other junk food can stain the brackets.

Do not miss appointments

At each checkup, the dentist will tighten the elastics around the brackets. This can cause some discomfort and irritation. Patients may not look forward to this experience, but it is critical not to put them off. The dentist will examine the person’s teeth and braces. If there are any issues, the dentist can make the necessary repairs or corrections. These are issues that the patient may not detect alone. Also, patients should report any problems with the braces immediately.

Vigilance is the key

You know how critical it is to maintain good oral hygiene habits. You should be even more aware of proper care when you have braces. Problems with the brackets or wires could prolong your treatment or even hinder your progress. Make sure you follow the dentist’s directions to avoid certain foods and to keep every appointment. If you do these things, you can soon enjoy straighter teeth and a brand-new smile.

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