Regular Metal Braces—a common type of brace is still the traditional metal. They are comfortable and less intrusive than ever before, making for easy treatment.
Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding coloured elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colourful smile.
Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are less visible on your teeth than traditional metal braces. They are most often used on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are less noticeable, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. Ceramic braces are more often used on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.
Incognito Braces also fall under this category, however the brackets are bonded to the tongue side of the teeth (the lingual surface), so that they are not visible to others when you smile. They are made of an exceptionally hard metal with a high gold content, and are 100% customized to fit the contour of each tooth.
Learn more about Incognito braces here.
Clear appliances (such as Invisalign®) use a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners to straighten your teeth. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are also removable, allowing you to eat and drink what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are much easier. The aligners are comfortable and have no metal. If you want the benefits of braces without the look then this treatment form may be right for you.
Learn more about Invisalign® here.
Eating with braces
It is a good idea to stick to soft foods for the first day or so after getting your new braces. Be sure to avoid tough meats, hard breads and raw vegetables. You should consider taking Ibuprofin ( Advil or Motrin ) before any tenderness occurs and maybe for a day or two. It is important to always protect your orthodontic appliances while eating as long as you are wearing the braces. Damage to your braces may prolong your treatment.
Foods to avoid
It is common for people with new braces to feel some general soreness in the mouth, or to have slightly tender teeth for the first three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this.
Loosening of teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don't worry! It's normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new - corrected - positions.
Loose wire or band
There is no need to be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument, like a spoon, and carefully push the irritating wire under the archwire. If the irritation continues, place wax or wet cotton or the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office to make an appointment as soon as possible to check and repair the appliances. Save any piece that comes off and bring it to the office with you on your next visit.
Care of appliances
To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.
Brushing your teeth
Brushing and flossing are more important than ever when you have braces, to ensure healthy teeth and gums after your treatment is over. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.
It is advised that you use a protective mouthguard when playing contact sports with braces. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.