As with any treatment modality, there may be risks and complications encountered in orthodontic treatment. Dental decay and gingivitis are common complication in orthodontics, affecting most orthodontic patients. Not only are we committed to beautiful teeth, but also to healthy teeth and tissues.
You will notice that it is much harder to keep your teeth clean with braces. Braces trap food very easily, which contributes to microbial plaque formation. If plaque is not carefully removed from teeth and from around braces, patients run the risk of developing gum disease, dental decay and bad breath.
Plaque is a mixture of bacteria, debris and bits of food. The bacteria feed on sugars and produce acids. The acids can irritate your gums, erode the enamel on your teeth and contribute to bad breath (halitosis).
It's important to remove the plaque thoroughly and often. There are habits and techniques that can be utilized to minimize risks and complications in the course of orthodontic treatment. Then, when your braces come off, the surfaces of your teeth underneath the braces will be healthy and strong and look good.
Successful orthodontic treatment is a partnership of effort among the orthodontic team, family dentist and patient :
The orthodontist provides the expertise, the treatment plan and the appliances to straighten teeth. The clinical staff provide the instructions and encouragement.
Oral hygiene instruction is essential in all cases of orthodontic treatment, and the use of adjuncts such as power or electric toothbrushes, interproximal brushes, chlorhexidine mouthwashes, fluoride mouthwashes, and regular professional cleaning must be reinforced. However, patient motivation and dexterity are vital in the success of oral hygiene.
The patient must follow the orthodontic team's instructions carefully so that the teeth move in the appropriate manner. Patients who brush thoroughly, avoid hard or sticky foods, wear their elastics and/or other removable appliances as instructed, and attend regular appointments usually finish treatment on time with satisfactory results.
However, most patients are able to prevent these problems with a combination of proper diet, optimal self care such as tooth brushing and interdental cleaning, and regular checkups. Brushing teeth immediately after eating, using the proper techniques for brushing with braces, and even rinsing vigorously with water is helpful to prevent decay. Excellent oral hygiene and plaque removal are critical, as is avoidance or minimizing consumption of sugar, carbonated beverages and energy drinks, and between meal snacks.
Regular visits to the dentist are vital during orthodontic treatment. During orthodontic treatment, see your family dentist for a complete examination every six months, or as directed by your dentist.