No matter if you’re a child or an adult, at some point in life, you may be told that it’s time for “orthodontic treatment”. But, what is orthodontic treatment?
According to the Oral Health Foundation, orthodontics it is a way of straightening or moving teeth, to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work. It can also help with the long-term health of your teeth, gums and jaw joints, by spreading the biting pressure over all your teeth. Simply put, it very well could mean orthodontic braces, retainers, or aligners.
For some, the first signs of orthodontic problems can be detected at a very young age. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children get a check-up with an orthodontist at the first sign of an orthodontic problem, but no later than seven years of age. Although not extremely common in patients that young, early intervention could really benefit the young patient. For these patients, a number of orthodontic treatment procedures could help guide the growth of the jaws so that the permanent teeth are in good positions as they come in.
If you find yourself needing adult braces or your child needs braces, there’s no reason to think that life, and especially enjoying it, is over as you may know it. With these five simple tips to care for your braces during orthodontic treatment, you’ll find that you can enjoy yourself while creating the smile you’ve always wanted!
Everyone knows that brushing is important. That’s because it IS important! Brushing while wearing braces is really no different than without braces. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and brush for a full two minutes. The metal brackets on your braces may wear your toothbrush down faster so it’s a good idea to replace your toothbrush every three months or so.
Flossing is also incredibly important. You need to floss up to twice a day to help clean the crevices between the teeth. Brushing alone will not be enough to get the hard to reach food particles stuck in between your teeth! Using a floss threader or orthodontic flosser to make flossing easier. Flossing after meals is recommended, so try to floss after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Well, stretching as in using elastic bands. Elastic bands are sometimes prescribed to be worn with braces. They need to be worn at all times, with the only exception being when you are brushing and flossing or eating meals. If you fail to wear them, even for a day, your teeth may start to shift back to their original position. There’s no need to move backward. Wear your elastic bands!
This is the part where you may have to give up some fun. Don’t worry, it’s not forever. As a general rule of thumb, you will need to avoid foods that are chewy, sticky, or hard. The foods to stay away from include, but may not be limited to, gum, hard candy, ice, pizza crusts, corn on the cob, apples, caramel, toffee, really crunchy chips, popcorn, and the like. If you stay away from these, you should be fine.
Go See The Orthodontist
During your orthodontic treatment, you will have regular orthodontic appointments for check-ups and adjustments. It is absolutely crucial that you stay up to date and on top of things when it comes to staying the course. If you miss an appointment, you could be wasting precious time. If you know you will have to miss a scheduled visit, call us as soon as possible to reschedule. It is of the utmost importance to grab the next available date. You do not want to make the process longer by missing appointments!
As you can see, orthodontic treatment can be relatively easy if you just follow a few simple rules. We know it can seem daunting, but we’re here to help and guide you every step of the way. Like we said, it doesn’t matter if it’s for you or your child, we want you to feel comfortable no matter what. If you have any fears or concerns, or to schedule an appointment contact us at 215-968-5471.