You might be wondering how much you need braces, and if they can really help you achieve a better smile. Though only an orthodontist can assess the condition of your teeth, you must know that there are other benefits of straightening your teeth apart from achieving a perfect smile.
Crooked teeth can result in jaw problems later on and hinder your ability to eat and talk comfortably. Getting braces in Fort Lauderdale can minimize, if not eliminate, these problems whilst giving you a healthy, gorgeous smile.
Here’s everything you should know about braces – from what they can do to how to care for them properly.
What can braces do?
Braces are installed mainly to correct certain dental issues so you’ll have a perfect smile you can be proud of.
Fix your bite
If your lower and upper teeth are misaligned each time you take a bite, chewing can be challenging. It can make you grind your teeth, resulting in jaw problems later on.
Here are the types of incorrect bites:
- Underbite – Your lower teeth extend out more than your upper teeth if you bite down.
- Overbite – Your upper teeth cover the lower teeth more than normal whenever you bite.
- Crossbite – Misaligned lower and upper teeth can cross over on the sides or front of your mouth.
- Open bite – When your jaw is closed, there is a significant gap between your lower and upper teeth.
Straighten your teeth
No matter how vigilant you are, your teeth may grow crooked, rotated, impacted, or overlapping. Any of these situations can make dental care difficult. They can also place extra pressure on your jaws.
How do braces work?
Braces come in different kinds to cater to the varying needs of people needing them. Still, they all work the same. Results can’t be seen immediately, but these can be visible over time. Typically, you need to wear your braces for about six months to two years to correct a dental issue and achieve the perfect smile you want.
The science behind using braces to align your teeth is pretty cool. Your orthodontist will attach brackets and bands to your teeth where the archwire can pass through. Throughout your treatment, the archwire will be changed periodically.
This can result in a slight tension that pushes and pulls your teeth for proper alignment, restructuring the sockets, and holding them in place. For this reason, you may feel your teeth becoming a bit loose during your treatment.
The bone and tissue surrounding the affected teeth will be prompted to grow, so your teeth will remain straight when it’s time to take off your braces. This way, you can enjoy a perfect smile for many years to come.
Will braces be painful and uncomfortable?
Yes, braces can be painful and uncomfortable but manageable. The pain is worse only following the application of the braces and tightening of the wires. You can feel pain around your teeth and in your jaw. The best way to manage it is to ice the area and take a pain reliever recommended by your orthodontist.
Another discomfort you’ll experience is acute stinging each time the brackets and wires scrape your tongue and cheeks. Applying a braces wax on the braces that are rubbing can minimize this kind of pain until the skin toughens up. But if your mouth gets irritated, you can rinse with cold water or apply a numbing gel to the sensitive areas.
It can take weeks before you can get used to the feeling of braces in your mouth. After that, the pain and discomfort should only be minimal. Though the severity of pain and discomfort varies from one person to another, it should not be excessive or debilitating.
Are there foods to be avoided?
After the installation of your braces, you will have an unusual feeling on your mouth. You will also be having a hard time eating certain foods because your jaw will be uncomfortable and painful. You may need to get accustomed to soft food for several weeks, or even months until you get used to the feeling of eating with braces.
Here is a list of the foods you must avoid:
- Hard candy, nuts, and other crunchy foods
- Caramels, toffee, licorice, gum, and other sticky foods
- Beef jerky, gummy candies, and other overly chewy foods
- Food you need to bite into like corn on the cob and apples
Take note though that some of these foods can be consumed if you change your eating habits. For instance, you must cut the corn off its cob, slice the apples thinly, and break chips into bits.
How will you care for your teeth with braces?
Avoiding certain foods is one of the best ways to care for your braces to prevent the brackets from falling and wires from breaking. Overly sugary foods must also be taken out from your diet as this can cause the buildup of bacteria and plaque around your braces, which can lead to cavities and tooth decay.
Brushing and flossing should also be done thoroughly. Brush around each brace using a toothbrush with a small head. Further remove any food debris in your teeth and braces with floss or an interdental brush. Finish off with an antiseptic mouthwash to eradicate any remaining germs in your oral cavity.
Get into the habit of carrying your brush, floss, and mouthwash each time you go outdoors so you can perform your oral care regimen after a meal or snack.
Wearing a mouthguard is also necessary if you are playing sports. Your orthodontist can make you a customized one so it will fit perfectly over your teeth. This way, you won’t worry about your braces hurting your cheek or becoming loose when your face gets hit by a ball or someone’s elbow.
If your wire or bracket comes loose for whatever reason, schedule for a dental appointment immediately to have it fixed. For the time being, place wax over the sharp parts of the braces or reposition the loose wire to protect your mouth.
Getting braces or other dental equipment like lumineers in Fort Lauderdale offers a unique experience. An in-depth understanding of the kind of dental treatment you’ll need will prepare you for the process.
By being well-informed, you don’t have to get confused or nervous once your braces are installed. Though getting used to braces takes a bit of time and effort, the outcome will be certainly worth it!