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Straightening of my teeth – An overview of Orthodontic treatment

Well-aligned teeth are a prerequisite for a sparkling smile. If you have crooked teeth, then there are chances that your smile quotient is compromised to an extent. Apart from aesthetics, there are other reasons for which you must consider straightening your teeth.

If you are someone looking for orthodontic treatment and are confused about the ifs and buts of the braces treatment. We have covered the basic overview of orthodontic treatment in the information provided below.

Reasons for orthodontic treatment

Apart from a pleasing smile, there are multiple reasons to get your teeth straightened. Braces are used to move your misaligned teeth into a more desired space. An abnormal relationship between the upper and lower teeth is called malocclusion.

A misaligned set of teeth makes it difficult for the area to be cleaned effectively and thus leading to tooth decay and gum diseases.

A list of possible conditions that can be effectively addressed with braces treatment apart from enhancing the smile are:

  • Speech problems
  • TMJ pain and discomfort
  • Difficulty in eating and chewing
  • Sleep apnea
  • Teeth grinding
  • Tooth decay 
  • Gum diseases

Phases for Braces treatment

Braces treatment is a step-by-step process, and every case is a different journey in itself. However, certain phases are involved in treating misaligned teeth that remain similar.

Phase 1- Pre Treatment Phase

Before starting the actual treatment, some preparation goes into reviewing the case and formulating a treatment plan. Your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and other supporting structures.

In the first consultation, a proper examination is done to decide the suitable appliance for you. Your orthodontist might perform some radiographic studies to evaluate the root structure of the teeth to be moved and the health of the jawbones.

The diagnostic photos and intraoral scans will be registered to make a detailed treatment plan for the movement of teeth.

Phase 2-  actual Treatment phase

The next phase comes the actual treatment plan when the brackets are being placed onto your teeth and a wired system is used to move the teeth into the desired location.

The teeth which act as a support are called anchor teeth and are usually the molars.

The primary objective is to correct the alignment first then work on the bite correction. Depending on the complexity of the case, elastics and springs may be used to alter the speed of the treatment.

Bringing the teeth into a more harmonious relationship is slow and can be accelerated to a limit. During the initial days of the treatment, some discomfort and pain are normal and can be managed with pain killers.

Post braces phase

Once the braces treatment is over, and the teeth are brought into the desired location, there is a tendency of teeth going back into the original position. For this reason, the retainers are used to hold the teeth into the new place for a longer time till the bone around them gets consolidated.

Types of braces: Braces versus Aligners

Traditionally braces have been used to correct malaligned teeth. With the advancement of technology, newer techniques are now used for correction. One of the latest devices used is clear aligners.

Broadly there are three varieties of braces available as a part of traditional orthodontic systems:

  • Metal braces
  • Ceramic braces
  • Lingual braces

Clear aligners are transparent plates customized as per your teeth arrangement that helps in correcting minor discrepancies in the teeth alignment. There are no food restrictions with clear aligners, as you can remove them while eating and brushing your teeth.

Clear aligners are more convenient and have gained mass popularity because they are user-friendly.

Food restrictions with Braces

There are certain restrictions with the traditional braces, as preventing damage to the brackets archwires and preventing tooth decay is the primary concern during orthodontic tooth movement. Braces are delicate and need to be protected; avoiding anything hard and sticky is advisable.

Some of the food items that you need to avoid are-

  • Nuts
  • Candies
  • Sticky chewing gums
  • Popcorns
  • Apples, carrots, and other hard fruits and vegetables.

How to maintain hygiene with Braces

Maintaining oral hygiene with braces on is difficult, and many orthodontists recommend fluoride toothpaste to avoid caries. Using a water flosser and getting regular checkups with your dentist becomes even more critical when undergoing orthodontic treatment.

What to do if your braces become loose

If your brackets become loose or there is a broken bracket, it is suggested to report to your dentist at the earliest. Broken pieces of metals and wires can cause lacerations to your cheek and tongue. Loose bracket systems will not work as efficiently, so it is best to fix them.

Cost of braces

The cost and duration of the treatment majorly depend on the case’s complexity. For more details regarding this, it is best to get your complete evaluation done by the orthodontist.