Having straight teeth is essential for a healthy and beautiful smile. Crooked teeth can affect your bite and bring on a host of dental complications. Luckily, braces can correct your bite and restore your smile. Here’s a “cheat sheet” on how to get the maximum benefits from your orthodontic treatment.
Take good care of your braces
For braces to work properly, they have to fit snugly around your teeth to apply sufficient pressure to straighten your teeth. It’s important to make sure parts of your braces don’t become loose or damaged throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment by keeping all scheduled orthodontic appointments.
Chewing on hard or sticky candies such as gummy bears and caramel can damage the trays (Invisalign) or connectors (traditional braces with metal or clear brackets and archwires) in your braces; plus make your teeth more vulnerable to cavities than without braces.
Instead of hard candies, try alternatives such as low-sugar ice cream or yogurt.
You should also brush around your braces after meals to remove food debris and plaque that could cause bad breath and tooth decay.
Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush that won’t prematurely wear out your braces.
Rinse your mouth with mouthwash to eliminate bacteria beneath your braces.
Visit your regular dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and a checkup.
This is so important for maintaining healthy teeth throughout orthodontic treatment. Whether you are wearing Invisalign or traditional braces, your teeth are more prone to decay and gum disease throughout your orthodontic treatment. Your dentist and/or dental hygienist will assess your oral health and suggest any corrections you may need to make (such as flossing with interdental flossers, which weave between each tooth and bracket, or using a water flosser to blast bacteria away), so that your pearly whites are in glowing good health when your orthodontic treatment is complete.
Wear your prescribed retainer.
Retainers are dental appliances custom-made for you that should be worn after braces are removed to complete your orthodontic treatment. Without a retainer, your teeth are likely to “backslide” into their pre-treatment positions, gradually undoing the work you and your orthodontist have invested in your orthodontic treatment. Do not stop wearing your retainer until your orthodontist advises you to. Your orthodontist will recommend a retainer that fits comfortably around your teeth, prevents injury to your teeth and gums and maintains a straight smile — with full patient compliance.
At Gardner Orthodontics in Richmond, VA, Invisalign and clear or metal braces are available to treat teens and adults with malocclusions, also known as “bad bites.” We are a Top 1% Invisalign Provider, as well as an award-winning orthodontic practice. For a complimentary orthodontic consultation, please contact us at (804) 767-6840 or request an appointment online.