Braces are small appliances that straighten teeth and help position them with regard to your bite and jaw, which improves your smile’s appearance. Braces also help correct underbites, overbites, cross-bites, and open bites. Brackets are bonded to your teeth using special glue; then, wire is threaded through those brackets, applying gentle pressure to move your teeth into the desired positions over time. Sometimes rubber bands are placed around the specific teeth to apply additional pressure and move them into place more quickly.
Types of Issues Braces Can Treat
Braces For Gapped Teeth
Gaps between teeth are a common cosmetic problem that can be fixed with braces. A dentist may recommend braces for gapped teeth, especially if they have a negative impact on your bite, causing pain when you chew or speak. Gaps can also make your teeth look crooked and affect the appearance of your smile.
Braces For Crowded Teeth
If your teeth overlap or are too close together, your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment to correct the spacing of your teeth and align your bite. Crowding can cause problems with chewing food and may even cause tooth wear over time due to improper alignment. Braces can help treat this issue.
Braces For Underbite
An underbite occurs when the top teeth are misaligned with the lower teeth, causing the lower front teeth to overlap the ones further back in the mouth. While an underbite isn’t necessarily painful, it can create a number of problems in both social and professional situations. In some people, the lower jaw grows more slowly than the upper jaw, causing the misalignment to become worse over time. Many patients choose to address an underbite with braces.
Braces For Overbite
Braces are a good treatment option for children and adults who have an overbite, which is known as malocclusion. An overbite is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far over the lower teeth. Due to the misalignment of the jaw and teeth, a bite problem could lead to TMJ disorder or temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Braces are used to straighten the teeth and correct the bite problem by gradually moving them into place.
Braces for Open Bite
A patient with an open bite is one who has a gap in between their upper and lower teeth when biting down. This gap can cause the teeth to shift out of position over time and create a bad bite. If left untreated, the open bite can lead to other complications, such as TMJ disorder and crooked teeth. This is why it’s important to treat an open bite as soon as possible. The most common treatment is to use braces to close the gap and shift the teeth into proper alignment.
Caring for Braces
Once you get your braces, you will likely need to spend some time getting used to them. While we may provide you with an instruction manual to help you learn to care for your braces, there are some tips to keep in mind.
First, you will need to spend some time cleaning your teeth while wearing braces. Your brackets will need to be brushed and flossed regularly. Brushing after every meal or snack is ideal, but you should still aim to do so at least twice a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste to keep your gums and teeth healthy while you have braces on. You may also want to invest in a water flosser for your braces. They are easy to use and can help you remove plaque that builds up around your brackets.
You will also need to brush your tongue as well to remove bacteria that cause bad breath. You can use the same type of toothbrush for your tongue as you use for your teeth. If you are worried about your breath, you may want to keep mouthwash with you during the day to use after lunch or a snack. Flossing is also an important part of caring for your braces. You should floss at least once daily, preferably at night before you go to bed. If you forget to do this, try to sneak it in when you brush your teeth. Otherwise, you will have to take the time to remove your braces before you clean between your teeth.
Finally, you will want to avoid eating sticky foods when you have braces. This includes things like caramel, honey, gum, and even peanut butter. They can easily get stuck in your braces and cause damage like cavities, or they can also make brushing and cleaning more difficult for you. If you do eat any of these foods, rinse your mouth with water and brush and floss as soon as possible.
For the best dental care tailored to your unique needs, visit Lone Star Dental Care at 11500 State Highway 121, Suite 210, Frisco, TX 75035, or call (972) 779-6207. We look forward to helping you achieve a beautiful and healthy smile!