At Senestraro Family Orthodontics, our veteran orthodontists are all about braces. Here is everything you should know about the most important tool in the orthodontic toolbox.
Modern braces have made a lot of improvements over braces from even just a few years ago, but the basic concept is very simple. Braces work by applying pressure. This pressure is slight and gradual, so it will never be enough to cause you any real discomfort, but by applying this pressure over a long period braces will very slowly but permanently move your teeth in your jaw. Periodic adjustments will keep this pressure at just the right degree to continue adjusting your teeth. This is accomplished via a system of wires, brackets, and bands. While steel is the most common material for braces, there are also ceramic and plastic braces. On average, braces take about a year to work, but this can vary greatly from patient to patient.
Braces benefit both the cosmetics and health of your smile. Teeth that are uneven or have wide gaps can be embarrassing and can take a long-term toll on self-confidence. The impact on your oral health can be even worse. Food is prone to getting caught in crooked teeth, and sometimes even proper brushing and flossing may miss this food. This allows bacteria to spread, plaque to form, and cavities to develop. It can even cause gum disease, which in turn can cause recessed gums and loosened teeth that compound the orthodontic issues. Other times, misaligned teeth can be angled just right so that bruxism, or teeth grinding, causes excessive wear and tear that will eventually destroy your teeth. Braces fix all of these problems.
Living with braces is a little bit different than life without braces. One of the biggest changes is that you will have to be more careful about what foods you eat. Anything that might break or gum up the wires and brackets, such as sticky or crunchy foods, should be avoided. This includes chewing on ice, or even fingernails and pencils.
For the most part, you can care for your braces the same way you typically care for your teeth. Brushing is exactly the same, and while you have braces it is more important than ever to keep up with your dental hygiene since food can be more easily trapped in the wires and brackets. You will probably have to perfect a new flossing technique, but with a little bit of practice you will get used to it in no time. Waxed floss makes this much easier since it will not snap as easily. If you are having trouble, consider getting a water flosser, which cleans between your teeth with a powerful jet of water.
Braces on the Brain?
Want to know even more about braces? Interested in finding out how easy it can be to improve your smile? Then call (503) 228 1945 to talk to Senestraro Family Orthodontics today!