Dental Braces in Leduc
Braces have been the answer to many of the challenges around tooth alignment and bite correction for decades. In fact, braces have been around for so long that new technological advancements are being integrated into their structure all of the time, and alternatives to braces such as aligners have been developed. Despite these advancements, however, traditional braces are here to stay. Metal or Ceramic braces remain the gold standard for correcting moderate to severe malocclusion (crooked teeth).
Braces are comprised of a system of brackets, bonded to each of the teeth along a dental arch. These brackets hold a u-shaped archwire that puts pressure on the teeth and encourages them to move away from that pressure. Braces are adjusted periodically, as teeth migrate into their new positions, until such time as the ideal alignment has been achieved and the braces are removed.
Conditions Improved with BracesBraces are used to treat a number of alignment concerns in the teeth including:
- Correcting overbite – when the overlap of top teeth over the lower teeth is disproportionate
- Correcting underbite – when the bottom teeth overlap the top teeth disproportionately
- Correcting open bite – when the top and bottom front teeth do not meet when the jaw is closed. This can be caused by poor habits such as thumb sucking in children or habitual tongue thrusting.
- Correcting crossbite – when teeth are misaligned laterally, the offset teeth meet further to the inside or outside of the cheek
Typically, braces are used once all of the permanent teeth have erupted in the mouth. In some cases, however, partial braces may be installed prior to all of the adult teeth erupting. This is known as Early Interceptive Treatment. In these cases, braces are installed to correct crowded or crooked teeth, with the goal of making sure there is adequate room for permanent teeth to erupt. Severe crowding can result in impaction of the permanent tooth or teeth, and braces are used as a preventative measure.
The versatility of braces means that they can be used for esthetic purposes (producing a well aligned smile), or they can be used to improve the structure of the teeth and jaw. Braces can be placed on all the teeth, as seen in full treatment, or they may be installed only along either the top or bottom arch, as in limited treatment. In the case of unharmonious width of dental arches, braces can harmonize the congruence of the upper and lower arches.
I Want to Explore Braces, but I Don’t Like the Way They Look
Many patients, including professionals, are interested in using braces to correct their dental alignment, but they are uncomfortable with the prominent appearance of the brackets and wire. At Bloom, we offer traditional metal brackets, as well as clear brackets. Clear brackets significantly reduce the visual prominence of the braces while delivering the same efficacy. New orthodontic technology now offers an alternative to elastic ligatures, known as self-ligating brackets. These are becoming more widely available and we look forward to offering this option to our orthodontic patients soon.
Alternatively, adults may benefit from Invisalign® aligners if they have only mild to moderate malocclusion. Since no two mouths are the same, we recommend engaging your orthodontist in a discussion about which method will best suit your specific needs.
How Should I Maintain My Braces?
Since braces add complexity to the oral hygiene process, patients wearing braces should allow time to properly clean the teeth and braces after eating and at the beginning and end of every day. This is due to the increased surface area in the mouth for bacteria and food debris to get caught on in the mouth. The bacteria and food debris can cause decay and gingivitis due to acid attack if left on the teeth.
Patients wearing braces should take care to avoid foods that could harm the integrity of the bond between the bracket and the tooth’s surface. For example, crunchy foods, sticky foods like toffee and biting in to hard foods such as apples can cause the brackets to come loose from the tooth. Many patients find their oral health improves once braces are installed, as they become diligent about their oral health routines and choose healthy foods that will not get stuck in the brackets the way that foods like popcorn kernels or chewy candies would.
Your orthodontist will provide instructions on how to effectively brush and floss your teeth with braces and may suggest adding some tools to your care routine such as a proxy brush, floss threader and/or a special mouth rinse. It is important to note that as your teeth come into alignment, they will become progressively easier to clean effectively due to their exposed surfaces on either side.
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What Should I Do if My Retainer Doesn’t Fit?
After a course of treatment with braces, patients may enjoy their new smile so much that they ultimately neglect to wear their retainers. If you have been neglecting to wear your retainer as suggested, you may find that the retainer becomes difficult to insert easily. This is an indication that your teeth have begun to migrate.
It is important never to force your retainer into place, as doing so could break it. If your retainer is not fitting well, return to your dental professional to discuss how to remedy the fit of the retainer and correct the migration of the teeth.
In order to optimize your retainer’s effectiveness and prevent loss, we recommend always keeping your retainer’s case with you. Doing so mitigates the risk of needing to wrap it in tissue, for instance, during meals – since they can often be mistakenly discarded as garbage. Keep your retainer out of reach of children and pets, and do not expose your retainer to extreme temperatures that could damage the integrity of their fit or cause it to become brittle. Remember to travel with a toothbrush to facilitate your oral hygiene throughout your busy day.