Of all the treatments which a dentist might offer, perhaps the most long term and intense involves the fitting of braces. If your teeth are crooked or overcrowded, then an orthodontist may well fit a set of metal braces which will, over time, gradually shift your teeth to the correct position.
Many people feel uneasy about the prospect of having metal braces for the simple reason that they don’t understand just how much orthodontic braces have changed. The revamping of metal braces is something which reflects the way in which dental services as a whole have changed. Many up to date surgeries, rather than merely being there to provide relief from pain or emergency treatment following accidents, are able to offer a huge range of cosmetic treatments such as tooth replacement and teeth whitening.
The range of problems which patients now present to surgeries with is huge, but one which people often feel uncertain about addressing is that of teeth which are crooked, overcrowded or don’t meet evenly. One of the reasons why many people hesitate to address this problem is because they fear that the solution to the problem – i.e. fitting a metal brace – may actually be worse than the problem itself. This, however, is based on a somewhat old fashioned idea of the form which braces take. Whilst it’s true that, in the past, braces tended to be very heavy and made of thick metal, this is often no longer the case. Whilst old fashioned braces were uncomfortable to wear and unpleasant to look at, their modern counterparts are made from much finer wire and more lightweight materials, and thus have a significantly lower impact on the patients day to day life.
Despite these advances, however, there are still some aspects of wearing a brace which have to be approached with care if the highest levels of dental health are to be maintained, and one of these is the fact that cleaning teeth after a brace has been fitted is somewhat trickier. The mere physical presence of the brace means that getting at every single surface of the teeth with the brush can be tricky, and, if the patient isn’t careful, the same areas will be missed and not cleaned properly on an on-going basis.
Once a brace has been fitted, it will be necessary to visit your orthodontist on a regular basis, to make sure that the teeth are being shifted in the correct manner, and to carry out any alterations which they might think are necessary. These appointments are a perfect opportunity for your orthodontist to advise you as to the correct way to clean your teeth once a brace has been fitted. The first and simplest part of the advice may well be that you should give your teeth a good clean after every meal or snack, to ensure that no bits of food or debris get caught around the metal of the brace. They will also show you the correct way to brush to ensure that you clean around all of the brackets attaching the brace, and may even recommend a brush which has been especially designed to clean around braces.
The most fundamental item of advice will be the fairly simple fact that a patient with a brace fitted should spend two or three times longer cleaning their teeth than one without. Whilst a brace is a highly effective tool for shifting teeth, it isn’t without its’ disadvantages, but taking advice on how to keep your teeth properly clean whilst your brace is fitted will counteract the worst of these problems .