Did you know that your teeth are harder than steel or iron? The jaw, which is made of bone, does not crumble under pressure from the teeth. That is because of the periodontal ligament, or PDL, surrounding your teeth and gums. It absorbs all the pressure when you chew on hard things. However, this perfect force absorption system is sometimes disturbed.
The disruption happens when your teeth don’t grow in the natural direction and misalign. Having abnormally positioned teeth isn’t just a cosmetic issue alone. It can cause speech impediments and also cause issues with chewing.
That is where an orthodontist can help you. For example, Dr. Tyler Robison will put special braces around your teeth to apply a steady force to them. Depending on the need, the force can either pull your teeth in or push them out.
When the PDL detects these steady but mild forces on your teeth, osteoclasts are sent to it. Osteoclasts dissolve parts of the jawbone. The incoming osteoblasts follow this. Osteoblasts rebuild and reshape the jawbone so that the teeth are held in the corrected position set by the braces.
Some things to keep in mind when getting braces
The braces themselves do not hurt when you put them on. However, once they are put on, it is normal to feel some soreness and pain for the first few days. In the initial days, you should eat soft foods. If the pain bothers you, use warm saline water to rinse out your mouth.
As mentioned before, braces are used to change the direction that the teeth are set in. The movement of the teeth needs to be monitored during this adjustment process. You need to go in for the scheduled checkups that your orthodontist has set. The doctor will tighten the braces little by little over time and make sure that the teeth are moving correctly.
The Length of the Treatment
There is no standard length for treatment with braces. The change in the jawbone happens slowly. It could take anywhere between 2 and 3 years of treatment to see the results you want. Although, it depends on the severity of the case.
It is recommended that you use soft toothbrushes during your treatment. Make sure to brush along the gum line in fluid, circular motions. Also, do not miss the brackets and the wires on your teeth. As with regular brushing, the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces need to be taken care of. A proxy brush can help with keeping the brackets clean.
You will have to clean the surfaces below the wire first when flossing. Then move on to the sides of the tooth along the contours. You can floss using regular floss, platypus floss, or water floss.
Platypus flosses are especially recommended if you have braces. These can slide under the braces very easily and help you clean up more quickly. If you are using water floss for the first time, use it at the low setting and get used to the pressure.
Pasta, mashed potatoes, and smoothies all fall under soft foods. During treatment, it is advised that you stick to this category. Foods like beef jerky, bagels, gum, and hard candies are sticky and chewy. You should avoid them as much as possible since they can break the brackets that have been put in. If you must eat them, cut them up into small pieces.
Damaged Braces or Irritation
The brackets may rub against your mouth and irritate you. You can dry the bracket and put a small amount of wax on it. If that doesn’t solve the issue, try rinsing your mouth with warm saline water for immediate relief.
On the other hand, if a wire or bracket has become loose, secure it in place using wax. It is a temporary solution, so make an appointment with your orthodontist asap.
Routine Dental Appointments
The American Dental Association recommends that you go in for a regular dental check-up every 6 months. Get your cleaning done as well since you want to avoid cavities during your treatment.
These are some of the things you need to keep in mind after getting your braces. After the treatment is over, your orthodontist will give you retainers. You have to wear them regularly to keep the teeth set perfectly. And finally, remember to keep flaunting your beautiful new smile.