GETTING THE PERFECT SMILE: USES OF BRACES

15.18

Braces can be used to straighten teeth to improve your appearance, to prevent abnormal wear of your teeth and gums, to prevent jaw problems occurring, to allow easier cleaning of your teeth, to close gaps between your teeth, to prevent accidental damage happening to your teeth or to help your dentist restore your teeth. The idea is to make your teeth as healthy as possible to prevent the need for dental treatment in the future – this is why so many children nowadays have braces.
Yes, it hurts to wear braces at first. It doesn’t hurt to get them put on your teeth; the pain and pressure come a day or two later. Not only will your teeth feel sore, but the brackets will rub the insides of your gums and lips and cause mouth sores. This is not pleasant, but fortunately this stage only lasts a couple of weeks. Soon scar tissue forms inside your mouth and everything hurts less. To soothe the mouth sores, rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times per day, or use a mouth rinse like Rincinol PRN. Take Tylenol or Motrin for the pain — narcotic painkillers are not necessary. Use a lot of dental wax or get a lip protector for braces. The initial stage of braces is not fun, but it passes soon enough. You will need to eat soft foods and chew very slowly and carefully. Believe it or not, in a few months the braces won’t bother you very much at all.
The interconnecting wires of traditional braces are tightened at each visit, bearing mild pressure on the brackets or bands to shift teeth or jaws gradually into a desired position. Your teeth and jaws may feel slightly sore after each visit, but the discomfort is brief. Keep in mind also that some teeth may need to be extracted to make room for teeth being shifted with braces and for proper jaw alignment. For patients with aligners, there may be some soreness as your mouth adjusts to each new plastic tray.
Success depends on a partnership between the skills of the orthodontist and the enthusiasm and help of the patient and their parents. It is important to attend the orthodontist regularly and to follow any instructions given by the orthodontist.

The success of the treatment also depends on the commitment of the patient. For children’s orthodontic treatment it is very important that the patient is as keen as the parent.

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