It is easier than ever to get a winning smile in the modern age. Technologies like clear aligners and new advancements in braces mean that people of all ages can have their teeth straightened painlessly and in a short period.
If you are considering getting your teeth straightened, there is some essential care information to consider first, beginning with choosing the right treatment option.
1. Deciding On The Right Teeth Straightening Method For You
There are more options available today than just braces. Speak to your dentist about the best solution for your teeth and budget with teeth-straightening methods available, including:
- Clear Aligners: One way to straighten crooked or misaligned teeth is by wearing clear aligner systems, such as Invisalign Go. In most cases, treatment with clear aligners will straighten your teeth just as effectively as metal braces.
- Clear aligner systems can straighten teeth in three to six months, unlike traditional aligners that take two to three years. This nearly invisible solution is appropriate for socially and physically active individuals, especially adults and adolescents who are self-conscious.
- Metal Braces: It is possible to have metal orthodontic braces that are less noticeable than old ones and can be either clear or coloured according to your teeth’s colour. You can also choose from various colours for the rubber bands that hold the brackets in place. For most patients, metal braces are the least expensive option for orthodontic corrective devices.
- However, when you have metal braces, the foods you can eat are limited because they might get stuck in the brackets. Also, metal braces need regular adjustments, which can cause discomfort and pain for a couple of days.
- Ceramic Braces: Ceramic brackets and wires are similar to metal ones, but they use clear or tooth-coloured ones instead of grey or metallic silver ones. Some people choose ceramic braces because they are less noticeable than metal braces. However, ceramic braces are generally more expensive.
- Lingual Braces: The use of lingual or lingual braces is less common than its metal and ceramic counterpart. To fit your mouth and teeth, they may use custom brackets and wires. Rather than being placed on the front of your teeth, the braces are placed on the back. In some cases, the treatment is more uncomfortable than conventional braces and clear aligners, but this is a less visible way to receive orthodontic treatment.
2. Preparing For Teeth Straightening
The first step is limiting or eliminating certain foods from your diet before getting braces; you can prepare yourself for your treatment. Any foods that are highly chewy, gummy or require yanking to eat should be removed from your shopping list. You can still eat foods that you have to bite hard into, like apples, but you will need to slice them up while your teeth are straightened.
Don’t forget to take a selfie the day before the treatment; you will want to share your before and after photos at the end of your journey.
3. Caring For Teeth With Aligners
Keeping your aligners clean is vital for the success of your treatment. Trapped food can lead to bacteria and a range of health conditions, so ensure you are rinsing your aligners with warm water every night before bed.
If dirt or food particles have accumulated under your aligners, thoroughly clean with a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle, clear liquid soap at the end of each day. Rinse thoroughly and ensure they are correctly stored in their protective case when they are not in use.
4. Care Tips For Your Braces
If you elect to go with braces, there are several factors to consider to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy. First, brushing your teeth after you eat anything becomes paramount. When you have braces, food gets stuck more than ever. Food particles and bacteria breed on all of the wires and brackets. It’s much more likely you’ll develop plaque buildup, and even worse, cavities if you let all that accumulate for too long.
Regular floss is no good because it will just get tangled in your braces. But the need to floss has never been greater, so ask your dentist about a floss threader that you can use above and below the wires. If you are feeling any irritation, fluoride mouthwash and dental wax can provide some relief.
5. Wear A Mouthguard When Playing Sport
You don’t have to give up your favourite sporting pastimes because you have your teeth straightened, but you do need to take extra care. Ensure you have an adequately moulded mouthguard made by your dentist, and ensure you wear it at all times, even with non-contact sports.
You will need to remove your aligners and replace them with your mouthguard when playing sport. Over time, you will need to have your mouthguard remoulded to fit your newly aligned teeth.
6. Listen To Your Dentist or Orthodontist
Always follow your orthodontic doctor’s instructions when caring for your aligners or braces. As part of your orthodontic treatment, they give you strict instructions, not as suggestions, but as a way to help you maintain the best possible health for your teeth and gums.
Here are the other scenarios when you need to visit your dentist or orthodontist and follow their expert advice:
If ever you notice a part of your braces is gone, try to find it by shining a flashlight into your oral cavity. There’s a risk of swallowing the part or causing difficulty breathing.
It’s best to contact your orthodontist or dentist to get a proper assessment, treatment, and appliance repair.
Cannot Remove Food Stuck In Braces
Food usually gets stuck in the gums when you have braces. However, when removing food particles seems difficult, visiting your dentist is necessary. Never force it. Otherwise, the brackets or wires may get damaged.
Damaged Wire Or Bracket
If a wire or bracket gets damaged, contact your dentist or orthodontist to schedule an emergency checkup appointment. Cover the bracket with wax to keep it still for the meantime while waiting for professional intervention.
Ensure that you attend all of your appointments so your orthodontist can check on how your treatment is coming along, whether any damage has occurred to your braces, and whether any adjustments need to be made.