There is an increasing number of available articles about orthodontics and sophisticated treatments. Additionally, most of this information includes graphic depictions of straight, beautiful smiles.
When we think of orthodontic treatment, the first thing that comes to mind is a picture of oneself smiling and showing everybody a perfectly aligned denture and a repositioned jaw.
Benefits of Wearing Dental Braces
A perfect smile positively impacts a patient’s self-esteem. But have you ever wondered about the “health” benefits of orthodontic treatment? Briefly, we include some of the most significant pros:
A Healthy Denture
A misaligned denture generates excessive pressure over a particular tooth or teeth. This is because upper and lower teeth must fit each other at biting. Excessive stress wears down enamel when teeth do not meet each other adequately, making them prone to getting bacteria attached to them.
Ease To Clean Teeth
It is easier to get cleaner teeth when brushing and flossing. Toothbrush bristles mechanically remove more debris, and a flossing thread can effectively reach interdental spaces.
Improves Digestion And Helps Sleep Better
Clinical evidence includes that having straight teeth improves mastication and the absorption of nutrients by the body.
Also, a particular type of malocclusion, known as type II, possesses characteristics associated with obstructive sleep apnea.
There are denture and health-related issues that orthodontic treatment can help prevent. Weighting all implications of proper alignment, we address some of the most frequently asked questions about orthodontic treatment and its implications, emphasizing our analysis on braces.
What Are The Types of Braces Available in the Market?
Traditional Metal Braces
As its name implies, its core material is stainless steel, a resistant product that has proven to be an effective ally in orthodontics for decades. Among the advantages of metal braces, we find orthodontists use them to correct severe malocclusion cases. However, having a mouth full of metal is sometimes aesthetically unpleasant for some patients.
Clear Ceramic Braces
Ceramics material partially overcomes the aesthetic problem of stainless-steel braces. Ceramic braces mimic teeth color, making these braces less obvious at sight. On the opposite side, ceramic is not as resistant and malleable as stainless steel. As a result, they are more susceptible to breaks which might delay treatment time.
Lingual braces have a unique characteristic; people might not notice them. Lingual braces are cemented in the backside of teeth, facing the tongue, making them indistinguishable at first sight. However, cleaning lingual brackets might be quite a hassle.
Being in the back of teeth makes it difficult to distinguish food particles and debris that might get stuck between brackets and wires. To summarize, lingual braces complicate oral hygiene and might lead to tooth decay problems.
Self-ligating braces use an archwire holding mechanism that uses a gate that locks the archwire with a click. Among the advantages of Self-ligating braces, your orthodontic visits are considerably shorter than braces with ligatures that tend to trap food particles, making them easier to clean.
Passive Self Ligating Braces
Passive Self Ligating Braces use is a sliding mechanism that does not exert pressure over the archwire.
Active Self Ligating Braces
Active Self-Ligating Braces have a spring clip that helps tighten the archwire. A study revealed that Active Self Ligating Braces are more effective in aligning teeth than Passive Self Ligating Braces.
How Much Do Braces Cost?
Braces’ costs vary. Orthodontic treatment with braces depends upon several factors. For example, ceramic and self-ligating braces can be slightly more expensive than metal braces. Recapping the various factors determining costs, they include the following:
Orthodontic Treatment Severity
There are severe malocclusion types that require a comprehensive and particularized evaluation. For instance, severe cases might require movement of the jaw into its right position and also teeth alignment.
Treatments might require more consultation and adjustment visits depending on the severity, braces type, and patient compliance. Accordingly, lengthy treatments tend to be more costly.
Orthodontic Facility Location
Orthodontic facilities in metropolitan cities might include a slightly increased cost than those located in rural areas.
Scope of Insurance Coverage
Insurance companies might cover orthodontic treatment. We can gladly help you revise the extent and percentage of your insurance coverage.
We have crossed the abovementioned factors to approximate costs, including the type of braces, treatment length, and facility location.
A non-severe case with a treatment duration of approximately one year in a rural area with metal braces oscillates at $1.500.
On the other hand, a severe malocclusion treatment lasting approximately three years with self-ligating braces can go around $7400.
The approximate average cost of metal braces is $3.500, while self-ligating braces are rounding $4.600.
How Long Will I Have to Wear Braces?
The length of treatment depends primarily on the severity of the case. However, the type of braces and strict compliance with your orthodontic specialist’s recommendations positively impact shortening treatment duration or not extending it.
For instance, a moderate severity case with self-ligating braces that a patient has adequately carried out can last approximately 18 months. On the other hand, a severe malocclusion can add up to 18 months to the treatment.
It is essential always to remind yourself what the outcome is and its rewards at the end of the journey. Therefore, following your orthodontist recommendations definitely adds up to a successful result.
How to Maintain Good Hygiene With Braces?
Orthodontics goes hand-by-hand with not only good but excellent oral hygiene habits. Successful treatment completion highly depends on avoiding the occurrence of tooth decay, gingivitis, and other oral health issues.
Unfortunately, braces add to accumulate food particles and debris. Therefore, patients should place special care when wearing any type of braces. We include some examples and advise on proper oral hygiene measures during orthodontic treatment with braces:
Brushing is a key element of proper oral hygiene. During orthodontic treatment, orthodontists recommend using a soft bristle toothbrush. Patients should spend at least three minutes brushing each quadrant, trying to identify any food particles that might have got stuck.
You can start brushing your upper teeth, starting from the lower part of your gums down to the brackets in an angled fashion. Then, repeat this same movement on the lower teeth several times and focus on teeth with an accumulation of food residues.
It is also essential to use a small amount of toothpaste; this allows patients to see any residues. You can repeat the process if you consider it necessary.
Traditional flossing might result inadequate while wearing braces. A special utensil known as an interdental flosser is a perfect ally in this task. Interdental flossers are small tube-like peripherals with brushes on one extreme.
You can easily handle an interdental flosser and insert it between teeth and in the space amid the wires and gums and above the wires. You can repeat this process with every tooth, making a back-and-forth movement.
The mechanical flossing movement permits the little bristles to effectively remove debris and reach the spaces formed between the wire and the tooth.
Use Supplemental Utensils
To enhance the effectiveness of the entire oral hygiene process, you can use a water irrigator for detailed teeth cleaning. Water irrigators dispense pressurized water directed to the part where a food particle is stuck, helping to remove it. Also, you can finish your oral hygiene routine using a mouthwash.
What Are the Most Common Orthodontic Emergencies?
There are instances in which a bracket might fall off or a wire might break. A fallen bracket incidentally affects treatment time and effectiveness, so it needs to be immediately replaced by an orthodontist.
Also, a broken wire’s pointy and irregular shape might hurt soft tissue in your mouth. To help you adequately address each potential problem, we include a list of orthodontic emergencies, going from the least severe to those that can cause harm.
A Loosened Ligature
A loosened ligature is not exactly an emergency, but it can transform into one considering the patient’s age. Ligatures are tiny rubber bands that help attach the wire to the bracket. When a ligature comes off or sticks to your lips, you can fix the problem with a sterile tweezer.
Sometimes, ligatures break. In this case, do not panic and inform your orthodontist about the details of the issue. The main problem is that a loose or broken ligature might produce a chain reaction making other ligatures fall or break.
Orthodontic treatment might produce some discomfort, especially after adjustments. However, it is essential not to confuse discomfort with soreness and pain. There are times when other inner parts of your mouth might be sore, and braces collaterally exacerbate the pain.
In some cases, braces might contribute to cheeks ulcerations. Treatment includes applying topical over-the-counter analgesics. Also, lips or cheeks can get irritated due to the slight friction produced by braces. You can use some relief wax to help reduce the friction and get some relief.
Protruding or Broken Wire
Sometimes wires might protrude, causing minor discomfort to a patient. For example, a protruding wire might irritate the cheeks or the inner part of the lips.
If a wire protrudes out of its normal position, you can use an improvised soft tool-like device to place the wire back in its place. For instance, you can push the wire back to the bracket with the eraser side of a pencil.
However, in some instances, the wire tension might impede reinsertion, and if broken, the irregular shape can hurt the soft tissue of the mouth adjacent to it. In those circumstances is OK to use a clipper to cut the wire the shorter possible.
Additionally, Orthodontists recommend applying wax to the wire tip and the cheek or lip to reduce the friction that causes irritation and soreness. Finally, do not forget to talk to your orthodontist for further immediate instructions and make an appointment to get the problem fixed.
Brackets might get broken or loose from a tooth while still attached to a wire. The most crucial action is to prevent it from being swallowed.
Then, using a sterile tweezer, slide the bracket to a position in between teeth, carefully rotate it back to its former position, and place it back to the tooth center.
If no action is possible, call your orthodontist to make an emergency appointment. Meanwhile, place special attention on overseeing the bracket so it doesn’t fall or get swallowed, especially when helping a kid.