Straightening your teeth isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, after all it can take a great deal of commitment, time, and expense, to ensure the best possible results. With this in mind we take a look at 3 of the questions which regularly pop up when a patient is considering orthodontic treatment.
1. How can I avoid tooth decay when wearing braces?
Although it can be a challenge, it’s extremely important to keep your teeth and braces clean to help prevent problems such as inflamed gums and tooth decay, which can hinder orthodontic treatment. Bacteria is the number one enemy for the mouth and is the main cause of a wide variety of dental issues including plaque. When undergoing orthodontic treatment it’s not uncommon for white spots to develop on your teeth, especially if any build-up of plaque isn’t removed from around the brackets and along the gum line. For this reason maintaining a high level of oral care is critical. It’s also important to schedule regular dental check-ups so that your dentist can ensure your mouth and teeth remain healthy.
Other things you can do to help avoid tooth decay include:
Brushing teeth thoroughly after every meal but waiting for at least 30 minutes to avoid the problem of enamel loss
Brushing teeth at a 45° degree angle making sure the bristles get behind the braces to reach the surface of the teeth – You may want to consider using an electric tooth brush
Using a fluoride toothpaste and an over-the-counter mouthwash (or prescription mouthwash) on a daily basis.
Flossing – Thread the floss through the braces to clean between the teeth. As an alternative use a small interdental brush
Avoiding sugary foods and processed carbohydrates which cause plaque, as well acidic drinks such as cola, sports drinks, and lemonade
Drinking plenty of water to wash away bacteria and leftover food debris
Of course, if you’re wearing removable braces such as Invisalign or the Inman aligner, keeping your mouth and teeth cleaner is far easier.
2. Which straightening system will be best for me?
So you’ve taken the plunge and decided to get your teeth straightened, but with the vast range of appliances available, it can be difficult to know what’s best for you. There are several reasons for wanting straight teeth. It might be that you’re not happy with your smile (e.g., you have crooked/gapped teeth), or your teeth might be causing health issues. When teeth are misaligned or overcrowded for example, it can be tricky to maintain the teeth and gums. Alternatively an over/under or cross bite can mean chewing food becomes difficult. With these factors in mind, the decision to choose the right straightening system for you can be affected by your appearance, health, lifestyle, and/or your budget.
We offer a number of ways to straighten teeth with one popular option being Invisalign. Treatment consists of a series of removable clear plastic aligners which are worn over the teeth. Each one in the series is designed to move the teeth to a certain position before the subsequent one is worn. The treatment is complete when the teeth are back into the correct position. The advantages are that they’re virtually invisible (which makes them a popular choice with adults), they’re fully removable, and can be used to treat the vast majority of dental problems.
Another discreet option is fixed lingual braces. These are attached to the inside surfaces of the teeth so they’re virtually invisible when you smile. They’re more suited to treating complex movements such as changing teeth height, correcting rotations, and closing extraction gaps.
Cosmetic fixed braces such as Six Month Smiles may be your choice of orthodontic treatment if you are more concerned with the appearance of your teeth rather than the functionality of your bite. They utilise tooth coloured brackets and wiring to make them less visible but work solely on the front teeth correcting minor orthodontic problems, including crooked and gapped teeth.
3. How long does treatment take?
Every mouth is different which means that treatment time varies from one person to another. For example, treatment with Invisalign can vary from as little as 6 months to 2 years, depending on the complexity of the individual case. Lingual braces can take up to 2 years, although patients will notice an improvement in just a few months. At the other end of the scale, the Inman Aligner can move front teeth in just a matter of weeks, usually quicker than fixed and invisible braces.
Finally, cosmetic fixed braces fall into a category known as ‘fast orthodontics’ with most treatments taking less than 6 months from start to finish.
If you’re considering straightening your teeth then come and talk to Confidental Clinic. We offer a free consultation where we can discuss your best options and give you a guide price too.