Dental Braces – Types, Care, What to Expect
Having a beautiful smile not only improves our appearance, but it sends a clear message that we take care of ourselves.
Dental braces are one of the tools that can help your child maintain impeccable oral health and serve as a prevention of multiple oral diseases like cavities, bone erosion, tooth decay, and others. Not to mention the fact that having well-aligned and healthy teeth will surely boost their confidence and make us smile more often.
So, where to begin? What type of braces are the most adequate for your little one, how much care does each require, and what outcome should you hope for? If these are concerns that you have, we suggest you stay with us as we are about to cover all the given topics.
Medical And Cosmetic Braces – What’s the Difference?
The main difference between medical and cosmetic braces is their purpose and design. Medical braces are suggested and prescribed by an orthodontist who is specialized in treating teeth and jaw misalignments.
Still, the reason they are called ‘medical’ is that they have a purpose to improve one’s health and prevent future health problems. If left untreated, misaligned teeth can cause facial pain, headaches, speech impediments, but also gastrointestinal problems since it is quite difficult for your child to chew properly when having crooked teeth.
The commonly used type that fits into this category is classic or traditional braces. They consist of metal brackets that are glued to the teeth and then embraced by an archwire that puts pressure on them and slowly puts each of them into the correct position. Their more expensive but less visible option comes in the ceramic variant.
On the other hand, cosmetic braces use clear brackets which makes them less visible than the classic ones. The dentist is trained to determine which cosmetically pleasing braces will fit your child the best as these types focus mainly on the front teeth. This means that they are meant to fix mainly mild orthodontic problems.
Cosmetic braces like clear aligners (Invisalign) are exceptionally discreet, can solve various dental issues, and are removable. Still, the first step to decide whether your child needs medical or cosmetic braces is having a detailed check-up by both a pediatric dentist and orthodontist.
How To Take Proper Care of Dental Braces?
The main concern when taking care of the dental braces is the food particles. They can get trapped between the braces and the teeth and create a perfect environment for dental plaque formation. The bacteria from it produce acids which then damage the teeth and cause multiple issues like bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Even though dental braces are primarily used to improve your health, they can do quite the opposite if the daily oral hygiene routine is neglected. This is especially important if you have fixed braces (traditional, ceramic, lingual…). So, what’s an example of proper dental braces care?
Let’s begin with the basics – teeth brushing. Your child probably brushes two times per day which is quite enough, yet with braces, it is wise to include brushing after every meal. If possible, make sure that the flossing and mount washing are done regularly to remove food particles that the toothbrush may have missed. In case that the child has crowded teeth, oral irrigators are an excellent choice to be sure that all the debris is eliminated. Finally, make sure to pay the dentist a regular visit to monitor the improvement and overall teeth health status.
Here comes an extra tip that many of the little ones will not be happy to hear– avoiding chewy, sticky, and crunchy food alongside sugary foods and drinks is recommended! This is certainly good news for the parents though.
What To Expect Before and After Putting Braces?
The most common concern is whether your child will experience pain when getting the dental braces. The procedure itself lasts for about two hours and it is pain-free. Still, it is expected for a child to feel some soreness after the adjustment process begins, but there are ways to make things easier for them – soft foods, mild pain medications, ice cream (yummy!), etc.
It is important not to miss the follow-up appointments with the orthodontist as the teeth need to be checked and archwires readjusted every 4-6 weeks. The great news for the kids is that they get to choose colors for the rubber bands, so let them enjoy every moment of it.
Once the time for the braces’ removal comes, you can again expect a completely painless procedure that lasts for about an hour. The final touch includes custom see-through retainers which keep the teeth from moving back to their previous position, so wearing it for as long as necessary is utterly important. Still, the happiness that comes with removing the braces is a truly unique experience for both the parents and the kids!
Feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below as we are always pleased to hear from you!