Types of Braces
In the past, braces included large metal bands that were enclosed and attached around each tooth. Today, tiny brackets are placed onto the front surface of the tooth and are made of metal (silver) or ceramic (clear).
The brackets are bonded to the tooth surface with a glue-like material and sometimes metal bands are used on the back teeth. Arch wires are placed inside the brackets and are made of a heat-activated nickel-titanium source that can become warm due to the temperature in the mouth, which allows it to apply constant pressure on the teeth as well as when the arch wires are adjusted at the orthodontic office.
Caring for Braces
Your orthodontist, along with their dental assistants will provide you with thorough instructions of how to properly clean your braces. There are many types of toothbrushes; power, manual or sonic to use that is specifically designed for orthodontic patients. Brushing should be conducted at least 2-3 times a day to remove plaque and maintain good oral health.
It is very important to clean in between your teeth with dental floss to remove food debris. Oral irrigators may also be recommended to remove food debris and irrigate the gum tissue to remove odor-causing bacteria.
How to maintain your smile after braces are removed
After your orthodontist has determined that your treatment is complete and braces can be removed, it is very important that a retainer is worn during the day and/or nights as recommended by the orthodontist. Retainer care is very important and will be explained to the patient by the orthodontic assistant.
It is very important to continue to see your dental professional 2-3 times a year for professional teeth cleaning and exams to maintain good oral health during orthodontic treatment.