Nearly all Americans care about the way their teeth look. As a consequence, many people go to local orthodontists for help. People of all ages get different types of braces to get their teeth straight.
- Maintain a good oral hygiene routine. No matter what types of braces you look at or have put on, you need to keep your mouth clean and free of plaque. You need to take care when you floss with the braces and make sure you do what you can to protect your teeth and the integrity of the braces. Take your time when you are flossing your teeth. When you brush your teeth with braces, you should use a soft brush and go from top to bottom. Some people find that different types of braces need different cleaning techniques. Water picks and air flossers can be very helpful if you feel you are not as effective with a traditional brush and floss.
- Keep your rubber bands on. Most types of braces require the use of elastic bands. Your orthodontist will give you specific instructions about how to use these elastic bands but a general rule of thumb is that you need to keep them on all the time except when you are brushing and flossing your teeth. They are instrumental in shifting your teeth into the right position. It may not seem like it but, over time, the pressure they place on your teeth helps with the realignment process. You can reduce the length of time that it takes to get the results you want when you are diligent in wearing the rubber bands on your braces. If you have any trouble with your jaw, you should talk to your orthodontist. If a problem arises that makes it hard to open or close your mouth, call and get in to see your orthodontist as soon as you can.
- Look out for broken brackets or wires. If the wires or brackets break or you notice there is any loosening of the brace bands, you should talk to your orthodontist right away. These things can cause problems and injuries in your mouth. Your orthodontist should give you some wax and you can use that on loose brackets or to protect your mouth from broken wires. These are not permanent fixes but can help you until you get in to the orthodontist’s office. If any wires seem like they can cut your tongue, bend them away from the tongue and use some wax to cover them.
- Quit smoking. When you have any of the types of braces and you smoke, you will notice a discoloration pattern that is quite striking. When the braces are taken off, you will notice it very clearly. This is just another reason you should consider quitting smoking. If you keep smoking while you have your braces on, you may need to have your teeth bleached when the braces are taken off.
- Protect your braces if you play sports. This is especially important if the sports that you play are contact sports. It is always a good idea to wear protective gear to protect your teeth when you play contact sports. You can get mouth guards that will protect your mouth from any damage. This is even more critical if you have braces on your teeth. You can experience a lot more injury to your mouth if you play sports without mouth protection and you have braces. Your orthodontist can help you get the right mouth guard for your situation.
When you are choosing an orthodontist, talk to your friends and family. Because many are worried about the look of their teeth that you probably know someone who has had to find an orthodontist. If you live in Chicago, you can probably find a friend or relative who has been to a Chicago orthodontist, for example. Going to someone who was recommended to you will make the process easier.
If you want to straighten your teeth, you have a lot more options today than used to be available. The different types of braces all have pros and cons. If you work with a good orthodontist, you will find the right one for you.