Orthodontics is the discipline of dentistry concerned with the alignment of teeth and jaws to improve a person’s smile and oral health.
If you cover your mouth with your hand when you smile or are self-conscious around strangers because your smile isn’t perfect as you want it to be, then the best time to see an Orthodontist might be right now.
It’s never too late to improve your dental health and beautify your smile.
If you worry that metal braces might clash with your professional image, be sure to ask about less visible alternatives.
It isn’t just about looks. Well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less subject to abnormal wear. A better bite keeps you away from having trouble in eating and speaking and also helps your teeth stay healthy.
You also need to see an Orthodontist in case of mouth breathing, thumb sucking or tongue thrusting or deviation of jaws, difficulty in chewing and poorly aligned/crooked teeth.
The best age for children to see an Orthodontist is 7.
By the age 7, children should have at least 4 permanent molars and four permanent incisors. If there is any deviation from this, there may be a problem with crowding, missing or extra teeth.
The reason for an early check up is that many conditions are far easier to treat if they are detected at an early stage, when children’s natural growth processes are in full swing.
TYPES OF BRACES
Metal braces/ Traditional braces – These are metallic appliances that most people imagine when they hear about ‘braces’. However, modern metallic braces are smaller and less noticeable and easier to maintain. They are least expensive and coloured bands give kids a chance to express themselves.
Self Ligating braces/ Damon/ Carriere – They are advanced braces which don’t require elastics to secure the wire in brackets. Least friction amongst all orthodontic brackets lend them to have rapid tooth movement and expansion of arches*
/ Inspire Ice/ Spirit MB – These are the same as metal brackets, except that they have tooth coloured or clear brackets.
Lingual braces – They are the same as traditional metal braces, except that the brackets and wires are placed on the inside of teeth.
Aligners – These consist of a series of custom-made, mouth guard like clear plastic appliances. They are removable and are replaced at frequent intervals.
LIST OF INSTRUCTIONS FOR AN ORTHODONTIC PATIENT
Brush your teeth and braces after every meal or at least twice a day. Brush your teeth before coming for your orthodontic appointment.
Do not touch the braces with your fingers, tongue, lips, cheek, pencil, etc.
Apply Vaseline or any cream on your lips before going to sleep for the first 10 days.
Do not eat any sticky food e.g. chocolates, sweets, stick jaws, chewing gum, bubblegum, toffee, candy, etc. as long as the braces are on your teeth.
Do not eat any hard food e.g. end of toast, supari, popcorn, bone, chana, corn ( bhutta), during the course of the treatment.
Do not cut anything big from your front teeth e.g. burger, pizza, apple, guava, radish, carrot, etc. You may cut the apple or the burger etc. into smaller pieces and then eat it.
Incase the brace comes off, keep it very carefully and bring it along with you on your next appointment. If any of the back (molar) brace or corner (canine) brace comes off, please call the clinic/doctor immediately and visit the clinic.
If any of the pins hurt your lips, look into the mirror and tuck it towards your teeth with your fingernail.
If any part of the braces or wire is hurting your cheek or lip, put some wax or cotton or softened chewing gum on the brace or wire end till you can visit the clinic
If you have been given an elastic it has to be worn all the time i.e. 24 hours day and night, except while brushing. As soon as you finish brushing, put the elastics on immediately and check in the mirror that they are properly placed. Change the elastics as per the instructions given.
You will have some discomfort and pain initially for which you can take a painkiller as recommended by your doctor. You may have semi solid or liquid diet for the first few days till you can eat your normal food.
Please contact the clinic immediately in case of any emergency.
Once you have been shown how to wear and remove the appliance. It should not be removed in any other manner as it may distort the wires and cause forces to act in the wrong direction.
Initially the appliance has to be worn all the time. i.e. 24 hours a day expect while eating, brushing and swimming. Any change in schedule will be decided by your doctor.
Whenever the appliance is out of your mouth, it must be placed in a plastic box, and not in your bag or pocket.
When you remove the appliance to brush your teeth, you must thoroughly clean your appliance as well, with a toothbrush using soap or toothpaste and water. You must rinse your mouth after every meal, before you wear the appliance.
Whenever you wear, remove or clean the appliance, it should preferably be over a sink, so that in case if it drops from your hands, it will fall in the sink. If it falls on the floor there is a possibility of it being damaged, cracked or broken.
In case the appliance or the wires are damaged or broken or if the appliance hurts in any spot, please call the clinic immediately, and if necessary, get it corrected.
Initially, the appliance will feel uncomfortable especially while speaking. There will be excess salivation for the first few days. This is nothing to worry about, for you will gradually overcome the discomfort within a few days.
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