Few Americans are lucky enough to be born with perfect teeth. Misaligned teeth can take a toll on your self-esteem as well as cause a host of other dental issues. However, orthodontic treatments offer a long-lasting solution to dental problems.
Braces do more than improve the aesthetics of your smile. The aligners straighten crooked teeth, realign upper and lower jaws, and improve your facial profile.
Ideal Age for Braces
Braces are more common among kids and teens. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends taking your child for their first orthodontic appointment when the permanent teeth start to appear. For most kids, this is around the age of seven. The child will have enough permanent teeth for the orthodontist to inspect them for any malocclusions. However, orthodontics is not restricted to children alone. In fact, 25% of the 4.5 million Americans with braces currently are above the age of 18.
Taking Care of Your Braces
The average length of time you may need to wear the braces is approximately two years. Caring for your teeth becomes more difficult when you get your aligners.
Once the braces are on your teeth, you need to step up your oral hygiene habits. Your teeth may need extra attention to protect them from dental cavities, gum diseases, and staining. Besides, caring for the braces makes them comfortable to wear and may reduce your treatment span.
1. Brushing and Flossing
Most orthodontic practices recommend brushing after every meal, including snacks. Braces have countless, tiny crevices spaces that may trap food particles, leading to plaque buildup. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a soft interdental toothbrush with soft bristles. Place the brush at a 45° angle and apply gentle pressure with circular motions. Gently floss your teeth at least once a day, threading carefully between the teeth.
2. Fluoride Mouthwash
Whenever you find yourself without a toothbrush, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water or mouth wash. Examine your teeth on the mirror for any food stuck. In addition to cleaning your teeth, the fluoride mouthwash can relieve the swelling and inflammation of your gums as a result of wearing the braces.
3. Protective Mouth Guards
It is excruciating to fall on your braces, especially when participating in sports and leisure activities. It may not only damage the wire brackets but also tear up your cheeks. Mouthguards can help reduce the risk of injury when engaging in your favorite game as well as protect the brace components.
4. Watch What You Eat
Your orthodontist may recommend some foods that you will have to avoid as long as you wear your braces. It would be best if you skip sticky, crunchy, and hard foods. Sticky foods may be hard to remove from the spaces between your Invisalign aligners. You need to avoid crunchy and hard foods as they apply unnecessary pressure on the brackets, thereby damaging the braces.
5. Regular Appointments to Your Orthodontist
Throughout your teeth straightening journey, you need to schedule regular visits with our orthodontic specialist. Our orthodontist will inspect your teeth and adjust the brackets accordingly to help achieve the ideal realignment. You can also bring up any concerns about your braces and report any broken parts for replacement.
It is vital to take up good oral hygiene habits now that you have your braces on. The better you maintain your braces, the quicker you can take them off. For more information on orthodontic care, contact our experienced team at Nowlin Orthodontics.