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ORTHODONTICS (Dental Braces)


Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry concerning the development and management of irregularities and abnormalities of the teeth and jaws. Its aim is to produce a healthy, functioning bite, creating higher resistance to disease processes and improving your personal appearance.This contributes to both your mental and physical well being.

Orthodontic treatment usually involves wearing a brace (appliance). This puts gentle pressure on specific teeth to move them into the right place. If you have any decayed teeth, these will need to be treated by your dentist before orthodontic treatment starts.

Most courses of orthodontic treatment begin with a referral from your general dentist to an orthodontic specialist. Depending on what
treatment is needed, most patients are seen by a specialist in a local practice or by a consultant in hospital.

These are some of the most common reasons for a referral to an orthodontist:-

Protruding upper front teeth :
One of the most common dental problems.

Crowding : A narrow jaw may mean there is not enough room for your teeth, resulting in crowding. Conversely, some patients have
significant gaps between their teeth.

Asymmetry : Particularly when the centre lines of the upper and lower front teeth do not match, perhaps because the teeth have
drifted or the position of the jaw has shifted.

Deep bite : When your upper teeth cover the lower teeth too much.

Reverse bite : When your upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth.

Open bite : When your front teeth remain apart when your back teeth meet; the tongue is often still visible between the upper and
lower front teeth. Impacted teeth : In some patients, secondary teeth come through in the wrong position or do not erupt at all. Orthodontic treatment  can help bring these teeth into the correct position.

Treatments
Every patient needs customised treatment, planned by the orthodontist and agreed with the patient. In order to decide what treatment isrequired for you, your orthodontist will need to carry out a full assessment of your teeth which is likely to include x-rays, impressions (moulds of the teeth) and photographs. Braces are almost always needed, those which are used most often are:
FIXED BRACES :
This is the most common type of braces today. Brackets are glued onto the teeth and linked by wires. Small elastic hoops are often usedto hold the wire in position. The wires exert gentle pressure to move the teeth into a new position. The brackets can be metal, ceramic oreven gold and the elastic hoops come in many colours.
 
Types of Fixed Orthodontic Braces

 

1 Metal Dental Braces    
    Metal braces are made of stainless steel and are one of the oldest types of braces. This type
of braces is relatively inexpensive compared to some of the more advanced braces.
This type of braces does have aesthetic problems as they are visible when worn and have
been known to stain teeth.
 
 
A very popular alternative to metal braces due to their lack of visibility when worn. Made of composite materials, they look very natural when fitted and will not stain teeth. Ceramic or clear braces are also very strong. These ceramic braces will be more expensive than the Traditional metal braces.
 
  Lingual braces are also invisible when worn as they are fitted behind the teeth on the tongue side. Commonly used to correct bites and straighten teeth, lingual braces may take a little more time to get used to. The plus side is that they are really invisible, the minus is that people getting used to them can cut their tongue and may have speech problems at first.
 
  There are even more advanced types of braces that are used to treat people with very minor problems. The more advanced types of braces are designed by computer and can be removed in order to clean after eating. Made of clear plastic, this type of brace cannot be adjusted but is made in different size levels as the orthodontic treatment progresses. The more advanced braces are expensive and dentists or orthodontists must be specially trained in order to work with them.


Care and Maintenance of Braces

 

1   Frequency of Cleaning    If you wear braces it is important to clean them after every meal. Food particles are
more easily trapped in the mechanisms of dental braces and can then fall through and
become lodged between the teeth. Care and maintenance of your braces will add extra
time to your at home dental care regime, but it is imperative that the task is carried out
at least twice a day, however, we recommend cleaning after every meal.
2   Flossing and Brushing for
Dental Braces
 
Flossing of the teeth should begin by pushing the floss through the arch wire and gently
moving the floss back and forward on both sides of the tooth. Do not use force when
flossing close to the arch wire.
Brushing should begin with a soft orthodontic toothbrush, top to bottom on each tooth
that has a brace attached. You should then use the proxabrush to brush between the
braces and teeth. Make sure you cover all the surfaces of each tooth before moving
onto the next tooth. Continue with this procedure until all teeth have been cleaned.
Orthodontists also recommend the use of a fluoride mouthwash that will help rinse
away any extra debris that is left in the mouth after brushing, and will help prevent
cavities.
3   Cleaning of Retainers  
If you wear a retainer it is important that this is cleaned whenever you clean your teeth. Brush the retainer clear of food at least twice per day. Also soak the retainer in a denture cleaning solution at least once per week.
4   Foods to Avoid  
The wires used in braces are not too fragile but eating hard foods such as toffees, apples or nuts, should be avoided. Hard foods can bend or break the wires, and a dental visit will need to be scheduled in order adjust the braces. Also avoid sugary snacks as this will only increase the risk of tooth decay. You can still eat this type of food but it is better to cut the food into small pieces. There will be less chance of the food getting stuck or damaging the braces, and it will also make the braces easier to clean.
5   Broken or Loose Braces  
Over time, brackets and wires may become loose; if this does happen you may be able to resolve the problem yourself. Your orthodontist should have provided you with orthodontic wax, and this can be used to slip brackets and wires back into place. If rubber bands become loose, or wires are broken, then a visit to the orthodontist will be needed to either adjust or replace these.
 

A REMOVABLE BRACE :
This is sometimes used for correcting a simple problem, such as moving a single tooth or expanding the dental arch.
It has a plastic plate with wires and usually springs attached. Removable braces need to be worn all the time except for cleaning or
for sports.
FUNCTIONAL APPLIANCES :
These are used to harness the growth of the jaws and improve the way upper and lower teeth meet. There are several designs all of
which fit on to both the upper and lower teeth and hold the lower jaw forward.

They are mostly removable but should be worn as near to full-time as possible. These are usually worn during childhood and early adolescence.
Retainers :
At the end of treatment, all patients should wear retainers to hold their teeth in the new position. These can be removable or fixed and
are an important part of treatment.
By not wearing a retainer it is possible for a relapse to occur with the teeth moving out of position.

 

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