Finally got your dental braces? Congrats, you’re on your way to a achieving a more confident smile!
During the course of your treatment, you will regularly see your orthodontist for adjustments and to make sure your treatment is on track. What else can you do to get the most out of your treatment? Below are the top 5 things to remember while wearing braces:
- Do not forget to visit your dentist
A lot of patients think that visiting their orthodontist regularly is enough to keep their teeth in check. Your orthodontist will straighten your teeth, fix your bite and monitor the progress you’re making, but they won’t check for other oral problems. Your dentist is your primary oral health provider. He or she will look for signs of decay or gum disease, examine your restorations and treat any problems before they get worse.
- Get cleanings done regularly
The brackets, wires and bands make it nearly impossible to remove plaque, stain and tartar that accumulate on your teeth. Without professional help, this buildup will not only cause gingivitis; it will also demineralize the teeth especially around the brackets where most of the plaque tend to stick. Schedule your cleaning appointment with your hygienist every 3 months to prevent oral problems. Children with braces should also get their teeth cleaned regularly.
- Poor oral hygiene will slow down your treatment
Not keeping your teeth and gums healthy due to lack of good oral hygiene will slow down your treatment. Poor oral hygiene slows down the movement of the teeth due to infection. Swollen gum tissue hinders your orthodontist’s ability to work on you. If the gum infection becomes too severe, you may even be required to remove your braces to get the infection under control. This will absolutely prolong your treatment.
- Avoid skipping your orthodontic appointments
Your treatment is a partnership between yourself and your orthodontist. Your orthodontist has designed the treatment for you which can be achieved within a certain timeframe. If, for whatever reason, your teeth aren’t moving the way they should, your orthodontist will make the necessary adjustments to avoid prolonging your treatment. When the “adjustments” are delayed, so too will your treatment, and you won’t achieve the final results as predicted.
- Follow your orthodontist’s instructions
Avoid chewing on ice, sticky candies and hard food items that could bend or break your wires or brackets. If your wires and brackets are constantly broken, your teeth won’t move. This could add months, even years, to your treatment. Also, wear your elastics (ortho rubber bands) as instructed. Your elastics will produce the right force to move your teeth to the right direction. If you don’t wear them, you will be prolonging your treatment a lot longer than necessary.
There’s nothing more fulfilling for orthodontists than seeing their patients with their new beautiful and confident smiles. If you have any concerns about your braces, let your orthodontist know about it. Like always, communication is key.