The following dental information pages answers many questions that you may have on braces and orthodontic treatment.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the specialization of dentistry , which deals with correcting the bite and arrangment of teeth, therefore improves the smile and function.
Who is an orthodontist ?
ORTHODONTIST is a dental specialist who specialize in treatment using braces which includes diagnosis prevention and treatment of dental irregularities & facial deformity. All orthodontist are dentist but only a very small percentage of dentist are orthodontist .
You are in the office of a qualified Orthodontist who has the vision , foresight and the skills to proficiently place Orthodontic appliances and achieve corrections for your teeth , jaws and face that will last a life time .
Why do we need Orthodontic Treatment?
Improves your smile :
A good smile adds up to the personality of an individual . A fabulous smile makes you attractive and also improves ones confidence level .
Improves chewing :
Teeth are an important of the digestive system . chewing of food by the teeth is the beginning of the digestive process before the food is passed on to stomach . So having a good bite improves the function of the teeth .
Prevents other dental problems :
Crooked teeth prevent maintenance of good oral hygiene . This can lead to other dental problems such as dental decay and gum diseases .
Risk of trauma :
Teeth that are protruding out increase the risk of trauma to them . This is more in children during play or due to an acidental fall .
Things that alert you to got an Orthodontist :
Parents are often worried about their childrens teeth . It is good to consult your orthodontist if you have any doubt about your child's bite . The presence of certain feautures should alert you to seek professional advice from an orthodontist .
- If milk teeth is shed off and the permanent teeth do not replace it .
- If teeth are crowded together .
- Spaced teeth .
- If front teeth are too far forward and the lip doesnot cover the teeth .
- Continued presence of habit such as finger sucking beyond 4 year of age often requires professional assistance to discontinue the habit and to rectify the damage done to the bite.
- Normally the upper teeth are ahead of lower teeth. In case the lower teeth placed forward to upper teeth upper it is called cross bite and should alert you to immediately seek professional advice.
- Children who breath through the mouth due to some nasal problem .
- Difficulty in chewing or biting .
At what age should Orthodontic treatement begin ?
Although orthodontic treatment can be done at any age they are best carried out in young children of 6 - 15 years age .
What happens if the treatment is delayed ?
At an early age the braces are less painful and the treatment duration is shorter . Advancing age makes the jaws harder and therefore makes it difficult to move the teeth and to mould the jaw . But orthodontic treatment can be carried out at any age.
How long does orthodontic tratment take ?
The duration of treatment depends from person to person and from one orthodontist to other . Orthodontic treatment with braces often takes 2 - 2 1/2 years.
How long does it take to fix the braces ?
20 minutes .
Does it hurt when braces are being fixed ?
It does not hurt when the braces are being fixed .
Does braces cause pain in the mouth ?
Initially for a few days after the braces are fixed , some discomfort can be expected . Much depends on the pain perception of individual and his tolerance . Pain may develop on the cheeks, lips or the tongue after the braces are fixed . Warm salt water rinsing and dentogel help to heal the sores
Are there any restrictions in eating when the braces are on ?
You should be careful in avoiding hard , crunchy , and sticking food . Such as toffee , nuts , and gums as they may break the braces that are fixed to your teeth . When you are eating fruits like apple make sure you cut them into pieces before you eat them .
Any special oral hygiene procedures during treatment?
Regular brushing should be carried out . Try to brush your tooth after every meal and before sleeping . The braces trap food stuff under them and predispose to dental decay and gum problems . Thus good hygiene is a must when the braces are on . Orthodontist will prescribe a special orthodontic tooth brush for you .
Do I have to go back to the Orthodontist after the fixation ?
The orthodontist schedules an appointment after 4 - 6 weeks . The follow up of orthodontic appointment is every 4 weeks. So tightening is done gradually at regular appointments so that the teeth and the surrounding tissues are not hurt.
Am I too old for orthodontic treatment ?
Well to be honest you can have braces at any age provided of course that your gums and surrounding tissues are in a healthy. As you get older your tissues become less elastic and the bone gets harder. so the duration of the treatment is likely to be more.
What are retainers ?
Retainers holds the teeth in the corrected position . Removable and fixed retainers are available . Retainer should be worn for one year depends on case to case .