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Orthodontics for Children: This Is Why It’s important

Orthodontics for Children: This Is Why It’s important

It’s no secret that most children are not born with a perfectly straight set of teeth or a perfectly aligned jaw. For most children, some form of orthodontic treatment might be necessary in order to correct misalignment issues or crooked teeth. 

In fact, if your child gets away without experiencing orthodontics in their adolescent years, this is far rarer than those kids who have to get braces at some point in their lives. 

But why are orthodontics for children so important anyway? Does having straight teeth matter that much to your oral health? Learn more in this blog. 

Orthodontics for Children: How It Can Improve Oral Health

Orthodontics go far beyond a perfect, pretty smile. While so many people misconceive orthodontic treatment as strictly cosmetic, it’s far more important than that. Especially in your younger, formative years. 

Here’s how orthodontics for kids can make all the difference to their oral health and overall wellbeing: 

1. It Relieves Mouth Crowding 

This is one of the most important reasons your child should have orthodontic treatment. Mouth crowding is especially common in children and adolescents, making it the most popular reason for getting braces, too. 

So, what is mouth crowding? Well, it’s as simple as it sounds — there’s not enough room in the mouth so teeth start to move and grow closer together, crowding each other. 

This may not sound like a dire issue, but as your child grows older, tooth crowding can become worse over time. Once tooth crowding becomes severe, it’s difficult to practice good oral hygiene on a daily basis. In other words, your child won’t be able to brush and floss between their teeth properly. 

The result could be years of accumulated plaque, which could lead to major oral health issues such as:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Issues with bad breath
  • Tooth loss
  • Jaw bone infections 

The good news is that tooth crowding is simple to resolve with braces. But the key is the make sure your child gets treatment early on in order to prevent any of the poor oral health side-effects that go with mouth crowding. 

2. Orthodontics Correct Jaw Misalignments 

No matter how straight your child’s teeth may look on the outside, they could still struggle with internal issues such as jaw misalignment. This is another very common and important reason for children to undergo orthodontic treatment. 

An abnormal bite, caused by jaw misalignment comes in four different variations:

  1. An overbite
  2. Underbite
  3. Crossbite
  4. Open bite

Most of the time, you can tell if your child has a bite problem when their jaw or mouth is closed. Abnormal bites in children can lead to a host of oral and general health issues later on down the line if they’re not corrected. 

The Overbite 

A child with an overbite has front teeth that overlap the bottom teeth, both vertically and horizontally. In some cases, an overbite can be so severe that a child may not be able to close their mouth fully, with lips touching. Overbites are generally the most noticeable kind of bite issue. 

If an overbite is not treated, this can only increase the risk of trauma or damage to the front teeth during childhood or adolescence. Fractured, broken, or missing adult front teeth are expensive and painful to fix or replace.

An overbite can also make mouth breathing difficult which could lead to respiratory issues. As well as bad breath, and a deep sense of self-consciousness. 

The Underbite 

A child with an underbite has upper front teeth that sit behind their lower front teeth. Their bottom teeth tend to protrude more so than their upper teeth — almost the opposite of an overbite. 

If an underbite is not treated when a child is young, this can reduce the longevity of the teeth. It can also lead to issues with restorative treatments such as dental fillings and crowns in later life. 

Not only this, but an untreated underbite can cause an imbalanced facial appearance. It can also speed up facial aging, and impact the ability to bite and chew foods. 

The Crossbite 

A child with a crossbite has one or more upper front teeth that sit behind or below the opposing bottom front teeth. In other words, the teeth do not line up correctly when the jaw is closed. 

An untreated crossbite can lead to premature wear and tear of the teeth. It can also cause teeth fracturing, gum recession as your child ages, as well as abnormal jaw growth, which can lead to jaw issues later on in life. 

The Open Bite 

If a child has an open bite, this means that their upper and lower front teeth do not meet or touch when the jaw closes. It’s important to treat an open bite as this can lead to speech difficulties, such as a lisp, as well as bite and jaw alignment issues later on down the line. 

3. Orthodontics Can Reduce Tooth Grinding and Clenching

Another common symptom of jaw misalignment, bite issues, or crowded teeth is tooth grinding and clenching — also known as bruxism

Tooth grinding is an unhealthy habit that your child might not be able to control due to the layout of their teeth or jaw. It can impact oral health by prematurely wearing down the teeth, causing long-term damage. 

With the right orthodontic treatment, you can re-align the jaw and teeth to resolve issues of clenching or bruxism. 

4. It Can Improve Overall Self-Esteem 

When your child enters their adolescent years they’re starting to become more aware of their appearance and how they look to others. This is where orthodontic treatment can really help to improve your child’s sense of self and overall confidence.

By correcting jaw and bite issues, and straightening out their teeth, they can feel satisfied with their smile. This allows your child can carry themselves with confidence into their adult years. 

Find Early Orthodontic Treatment Just a Click Away 

If you’re looking for orthodontics for children, also known as phase one, or early orthodontics, you’re in the right place! With Koerich & Case Orthodontics, we offer tailored, specialized treatment to suit every child’s unique case. 

Learn more about the orthodontic braces and Invisalign treatments we have on offer, right here

Clear Braces vs Metal: Which Is the Right Teeth Straightening Solution for You?

Clear Braces vs Metal: Which Is the Right Teeth Straightening Solution for You?

According to the Pennsylvania Dental Association, approximately four million individuals in the US wear braces at any given time. 

Over the years, braces have evolved to be smaller, less intrusive, and practically invisible. Not only are they less conspicuous, but they’re also more effective.

Metal braces have long been the go-to teeth straightening treatment, especially for young children and adolescents. The problem with metal braces is that they’re a little too in-your-face, both figuratively and literally. The demand for more discreet orthodontic treatments for teeth straightening brought forth the creation of clear braces.

Clear braces work just like metal braces, but as the name connotes, they’re transparent. For adolescents who’ve had to deal with social awkwardness because of their metal braces, clear braces are sent from heaven. These braces blend much better with the tooth’s surface making them far less noticeable.

However, there’s no clear winner when it comes to metal vs. clear braces because each orthodontic treatment has its pros and cons. Join us as we look at both teeth-straightening solutions and try to find out which treatment is right for you.

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the traditional teeth-straightening solution. They consist of metal brackets that the dentist will fix on your teeth. They then connect these metal brackets to archwires to help pull the teeth inwards. Sometimes doctors use rubber bands together with the archwires for special situations.

Wearing metal braces requires regular visits to the dentist. These visits are important so the dentist can adjust the archwires and pressure on your teeth to align correctly. 

You’ll have to wear your metal braces for around eighteen months to three years before your dentists remove them. After that, you’ll need a retainer, so your straightened teeth don’t misalign again. 

Pros and Cons of Metal Braces

As mentioned earlier, there are both upsides and drawbacks to having metal braces. Let’s look at a few pros and cons of having metal braces.

Pros of Metal Braces

The pros of having metal braces include:

Affordable– Of all types of braces and corrective orthodontic treatments, metal braces are the least expensive. That’s why they’re a popular choice for people with overbite and underbite. If you’re on a tight budget, you should go for metal braces.

Super Effective– Metal braces are an effective teeth-straightening treatment and correct misaligned teeth and gaps faster than other types of braces.  It’s great for people with severe teeth misalignment or huge gaps between their teeth.

Don’t Stain Easily– Unlike clear braces, metal braces are less likely to show food stains and pigments stains from drinks. Food stains can be very embarrassing and are also bad for your oral hygiene.

Stylish– Who’d have thought stylish and metal braces would ever appear in the same sentence? It’s true; you can style your metal braces with different color rubber bands to match your personality

Durable– As the name connotes, metal braces are made from metal. Because metal is very durable, you rarely have to go for any repairs or replacements up until your dentist removes your braces.

Cons of Metal Braces

With so many advantages, metal braces don’t seem that bad, after all. However, there are some downsides to wearing metal braces. Some of them include:

Conspicuous– The most obvious con of metal braces is that they’re too conspicuous. Anyone can spot your metal braces from a mile away.  This can be detrimental to the quality of life, especially in young children, adolescents, and teenagers.

Hard to clean– Cleaning metal braces can take a lot of time because you have to brush and floss in a special way.

Mouth sores– Sometimes, metal braces can lead to the formation of mouth sores in your mouth’s soft tissue. These sores can get very painful and cause discomfort

Clear Braces

Clear braces are an excellent alternative to metal braces. They use clear brackets and wires made from plastic to align your teeth. Sometimes clear braces are made from ceramic that matches the shade of your teeth, making it unnoticeable.

Pros and Cons of Clear Braces

Just like metal braces, there are advantages and disadvantages to having clear braces. Let’s look at some pros and cons of these types of braces.

Pros of Clear Braces

If you’ve been mulling over getting braces, you should consider clear braces. That’s because they have tons of benefits, including:

Less conspicuous– The most significant benefit of clear braces is that they’re much less noticeable than metal ones. Someone would have to come really close before they notice you have braces on. If you’re very conscious about your appearance, clear braces can boost your self-esteem.

Easier to clean– unlike metal braces, cleaning your clear braces is much easier. That means you don’t have to waste a lot of time brushing and flossing your teeth.

Easier to remove– Once your teeth align properly, your dentist will remove your clear braces. The glue that fixes the braces to your teeth is easier to remove than that of metal braces.

Cons of Metal Braces

While metal braces are great for your self-esteem, they may not be ideal for the sporty individual. Here are a few downsides to wearing clear braces:

Expensive– Clear braces are costlier than metal braces, especially ceramic braces. That means you’ll have to dig deep in your pockets to get clear braces.

Damage easily– Clear braces damage easily because they’re made of less durable materials. This makes them not ideal for sports and other vigorous activities.

Staining– Because these braces are transparent, they stain easily, and you have to keep cleaning them more often.

Less effective– It’ll take a bit longer for clear braces to align your teeth than it does with metal braces. As such, they’re not the best braces to deal with severe malocclusion.

The Decision Is in Your Hands

Choosing between metal braces and clear braces is never an easy thing to do. However, the information above should help you make a more informed decision when it’s crunch time.

The right braces and a skilled orthodontist are all you need to get that perfect smile. For expedient and world-class dental services, contact us today.

Invisalign vs Braces: What Option Is Best for You?

Invisalign vs Braces: What Option Is Best for You?

How’s your smile? Do you want to make it straighter? Well, who doesn’t? But the difference between you and the rest of the crowd is that you are actually here, you’re here to learn and make your smile better.

In premise, there are several ways to go about this. You can either get braces or Invisalign. Yet what do you need to know when deciding between Invisalign vs braces?

There are significant differences between the two, cost and comfort are two of them. Not to mention, there are so many sub-types for braces that it can get overwhelming.

Nonetheless, in this article, we will cover everything you need to know about brace types and Invisalign. Thus, allowing you to make an educated decision about your dental health.

So whenever you’re ready to get closer to a wide and gleaming smile, keep reading.

Types of Braces

Metal braces have been around since the 1900s, they are a standard for dental treatment. They are made with small brackets that the dentist attaches to your teeth.

The brackets are connected with wires, which slowly align your teeth over time. On average, it takes about 2 years, regular in-office visits are necessary.

These visits involve tightening of the system, rubber band additions, chain instalments to help the process become more efficient. But these are not the only type of braces.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are sort of like metal ones, but they make use of tooth-coloured or clear brackets for incognito status. They are more expensive, more fragile and more prone to staining.

The removal of self-consciousness is well worth the extra cost and durability. Some people choose ceramic braces instead of Invisalign, especially if they have significant malocclusion but still want to be discreet.

Clear Braces

These are similar to ceramics. Ceramic braces, as the title suggests are made with ceramic. Clear braces, however, are made with a plastic polycarbonate. As their name suggests, they are entirely clear.

Lingual Braces

Lingual is not that different from metal braces, but they are less noticeable because instead of being installed in the front, they are installed on the back of the teeth.

Lingual braces are more expensive then regular braces, and they can prove to be uncomfortable in the beginning stages of adaptation. Mostly because the tongue is not used to them being there.

Invisible Braces

The most common invisible braces done in-office are Invisalign. They are removable aligners with a clear texture. However, they should be worn at least 22 hours each day. 

They are not cheap, and they are significantly more expensive than traditional braces. Severe malocclusion cannot make use of Invisalign, even though the company claims to treat 90% of circumstances.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners can be installed at home as well, although not recommended. They are also removable. The difference between these and Invisalign is that they are affordable.

They only work for an individual with mild malocclusion. They also come with nighttime aligners, so you don’t have to wear them during the day. 

These aligners can be acquired by visiting a store in-person then getting a 3D scan. This scan will be used to create custom-tailored aligners for your teeth.

Invisalign vs Braces

Technically, Invisalign is not identified as braces. They are known as aligner trays that are removable and fit over each arch. You get a series of aligners, each of them designed to move the teeth gradually over time.

For instance, the first set of trays might be used for misaligned teeth. Whereas, the final tray of your treatment will be accommodated for practically perfect teeth.

Braces comprised of metal brackets that are fixed to the teeth. They are not removable, except by a dentist. The wire connects the brackets and pulls them tightly over time.

Invisalign will cost more than braces, but this usually depends on the time of treatment. On average, the installation of Invisalign is over $5000. 

But they easily range between $3000 and $10000. Whereas, the average for traditional braces is anywhere from $2000 to $7000.

The costs for Invisalign cover the entire treatment. But Invisalign also has alternative treatments that you can make use of that cost less, such as Invisalign Express and Teen.

The express option is for people with mild malocclusion, meaning full treatment is not needed. Express treatment usually involves up to 10 aligners, depending on the number of teeth.

5 express aligners will not cost more than $3000, and 10 aligners will not cost more than $5000. 

Teen aligners are made specifically for teenagers. In fact, they are designed for the adolescent growing jaws. The systems ensure comfort and sustainability for teens, as they are less reliable when it comes to wearing aligners for extended periods of time. 

For this reason alone, Invisalign Teen comes with free replacement, compliance indications and eruption tabs to make sure teeth are growing properly. This treatment does not cost more than $6500.

Dental Visits

With an Invisalign treatment, you will see your dentist once every six weeks. During these visits, your dentist has to make sure the teeth are moving according to schedule, and that you are ensuring treatment compliance.

If you opt for regular braces, your treatment time can be every 4 to 8 weeks. During these visits, your dentist will check to see everything is right. They might make some tightening adjustments if necessary.

The treatment time for Invisalign on average is a little over a year. For braces, the average is about 2 years.

Orthodontic Care for You

Now that you have discovered the differences between Invisalign vs braces, you are well on your way to decide which treatment plan is best for you. As long as you understand the pros and cons, there’s no reason that you will make a regretful decision.

To ensure you don’t make a decision you will regret, get in touch with us and we will happily accommodate your search and journey towards a greater smile.

 

Perfect Your Smile: 9 Benefits of Clear Braces

Perfect Your Smile: 9 Benefits of Clear Braces

Do you need to get your teeth corrected to improve your oral health? Do you want to grow a perfect smile so you can get your dream career? If getting dental correction is the question, braces are often the solution.

Yet, many people feel that braces look unpleasant and can attract negative attention to their teeth. Remember, this is a myth built upon by decades of pop culture pieces like Ugly Betty. Don’t fret yet because you have the option to pick clear braces.

Below, we’ll explain the advantages of clear braces. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Clear Braces Are Less Noticeable

What are clear braces, you ask? Clear braces or ceramic braces work a lot like traditional metal braces. They correct crowded or misaligned teeth or jaws. The difference is that their brackets are clear or tooth-colored instead of metallic materials.

Remember that there are different types of clear braces.

Some people think of products like Invisalign as clear braces. Invisalign uses clear plastic aligner trays rather than ceramic brackets. With clear braces, you can still see the brackets attached to the teeth. With Invisalign, the tray is almost invisible.

2. They Boost the Patient’s Confidence and Enhance Their Smiles

Because clear braces don’t stand out as much as metal braces, fewer people take notice of your braced smile. This allows people to focus more on your smile or your other features. Having less attention on your braces also keeps unwanted attention away from your dental imperfections.

This is one of the top reasons why manufacturers of clear braces and invisible trays found huge success. Invisalign sales reached $1.47 billion in 2017 alone. It only shows that people want their teeth corrected, but they want to be subtle about it.

3. Clear Braces Correct Misaligned Teeth

One of the most if not the most important reason to get braces is to straighten your teeth. Clear braces don’t only look good on you, they’re also practical investments.

Misalignment or overcrowded teeth can cause a variety of problems. You can develop speech difficulty, jaw strain, or serious tooth decay. You may even experience chronic headaches or jaw strains because of misaligned teeth.

4. They Make Cleaning Your Teeth Easier

Clear braces don’t only correct misaligned or overcrowded teeth. They also make it easier and faster for you to clean your teeth. Once your teeth stop overcrowding, you don’t have to take too long to floss or brush them.

If you have kids, you may know how much they hate brushing. Getting them clear braces is a way to help them improve their oral health practices. Learn how to pick the right braces for kids here.

5. Getting Braces Costs Less Than Getting Tooth Restorations

In oral and dental health, the best type of maintenance is preventative maintenance. It means that you have to care for your teeth well before they break down. Teeth are harder to care for when they become unhealthy, broken, or infected.

It’s also more expensive and difficult to have a tooth restored than to take care of it. The cost of clear braces is small compared to the expenses of restoring your teeth. Before this happens, use braces to align your teeth.

6. Smaller Design

While clear braces share many similarities to metal braces, they are noticeably smaller. The smaller bracket structure ensures they don’t consume much space in front of the teeth.

This makes them ideal for kids busy in school. A Harvard study discovered that only about one in five orthodontic patients is over 18 years old. Your kid might appreciate the fact that their braces don’t cover up most of their teeth.

7. They Are Easy to Remove After the Treatment

Once your teeth fall into their proper places, it won’t take long for the braces to come out. The bonding agents that dentists use to attach the brackets to your teeth won’t damage them. Your tooth enamel will remain safe and intact before and after the braces come off.

Speaking of the bonding agents, they won’t demineralize the tooth enamel. Your teeth won’t break down because of the bonding agents. The bonding agents and braces will remain strong and adhesive, as well.

8. Clear Braces Correct Misalignment or Malocclusion Faster

Compared to clear aligners like Invisalign, clear braces can straighten your teeth at a faster rate. The invisible aligner solution can take a year or longer before you see results. With ceramic braces, it can only take 18 to 36 months to get straight teeth, depending on the misalignment.

Note that metal braces are still the faster solution. The adjustments with clear braces are smaller compared to metal braces. With metal braces, you can get your teeth straightened in less than a year up to three years.

9. Clear Braces Improve Oral and General Health

Remember that the teeth are only a few cogs in the whole machine. If your teeth are straight, functional, and healthy, the rest of your oral system is healthy, as well. The more you clean your teeth, the more you promote good oral and general health.

You are more at risk of periodontal disease when your teeth overlap or crowd each other. Periodontal disease can contribute to other systemic illnesses. Thus, the sooner you improve the alignment of your teeth, the quicker you remove that risk.

Get Clear Braces Now

That ends our guide on the many benefits of getting clear braces.

We hope you enjoyed reading this guide on the pros of clear braces and why you need to get them. If you want to learn more about teeth-straightening procedures, check out our other blog posts. We’ll tackle similar topics, like how to know if you need clear braces.

Do you want to help your kid develop the perfect smile? Get in touch with us right here by completing a referral form.

6 Things to Plan for When You Get Braces

6 Things to Plan for When You Get Braces

Are you seeking braces for yourself or your child

Starting the journey to straighter teeth is exciting, but if you’ve never been to an orthodontist or worked towards straighter teeth and a better bite before it’s reasonable to be apprehensive.

How is it going to go? What can you expect from the first braces installation? Is there going to be any pain or discomfort?

We’re here to help ease your worries. Keep reading to learn all about what to expect when you or your child is getting braces.

1. Mild to Moderate Discomfort

Straightening your teeth is like moving bones in your mouth incredibly slowly. While the process is supposed to be gentle, it’s not going to be painless, especially when you’re first getting started. 

The pain from braces can be as minimal as mild discomfort or throbbing and as extreme as pain that keeps you or your child up at night. When your bite is changing there’s a lot of pressure on your teeth.

The discomfort should pass as you get used to the braces, but whenever they’re tightened or adjusted it may return.

Conventional metal braces may also cause pain on the lips and sides of the mouth while clear aligners can irritate the gums and tongue when they’re first put in.

You can avoid and manage some of the discomfort by taking over-the-counter pain medication, drinking cool water, using lip balm and topical oral anesthetic, and using chewing sticks if you’re using clear aligners.

Mild discomfort can be treated with salt water rinses.

If you have excessive pain be sure to check with your orthodontist about what’s considered normal.

2. Meal Changes

If you’re used to eating whatever you want whenever you want you’re going to have to make some adjustments when you get braces

When you first start treatment you’re going to be in pain. This means that on your first day with braces (and through the first week or so depending on your pain) you’re going to want to stick with soft foods.

When you get fitted for metal braces it’s best to avoid anything chewy, hard, large, sticky, or carbonated. It’s also best to avoid excess sugar for the health of your teeth while you’re getting through your treatment.

Invisalign users have some more flexibility. These braces come out during meals so you’re able to eat most of the things that you love. That being said, you’ll also need to bring a toothbrush and floss with you whenever you eat so you can remove any residual food or drink from your teeth.

3. Best Hygiene Practices 

Even though you’re routinely seeing an orthodontist or dentist you can still end up with cavities or other tooth problems while you’re completing your treatment.

Brushing with metal braces can be difficult and it’s easy for food to get stuck inside the wires. Brushing carefully, using mouthwash, and avoiding sugary foods is the best way to keep your teeth clean and healthy. It will also help you to maintain their whiteness, something that can be hard to pay attention to while your teeth are adjusting. 

You should look for a toothbrush with rounded bristles for easier and gentler navigation. You should also seek out fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash to keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free. 

Even if braces make it difficult to floss you still need to get between your teeth regularly to avoid plaque build-up. You can use a floss pick, floss threader, or water floss device to make this easier.

Invisalign users need to brush your teeth after every meal or snack before you put your aligners back in. Not doing this can cause cavities from food and drinks caught between the aligners and your teeth.

4. Followup Appointments

Getting your braces isn’t a one-time occurrence. When you first get your braces your orthodontist will schedule your next appointment and give you an idea of how often they’d like to see you depending on your circumstances.

During your appointments, your dentist will adjust your braces and ensure that the teeth are moving as planned. This will cause some soreness though it should be easier than the first day.

Invisalign users still need to get checkups even though you replace your aligners on your own. 

5. Duration of the Process

From your first day of braces, you’ll probably be excited to get them off and see your new and improved smile.

Don’t get too excited though. Orthodontic work can take a long time and there’s no safe way to rush it.

When you get your braces you can expect to take anywhere from 6 months to 6 years to complete treatment depending on the state of your teeth and jaw. Mild cases for people with mostly straight teeth or people who weren’t careful with retainer use the last time they got braces are more likely to be on the shorter end.

The installation process can take 2 hours and the subsequent appointments should be about an hour each.

6. You Notice Them More Than Anyone Else

Many people are self-conscious when they get their braces put on. Children and adults alike can feel uncomfortable or insecure with the new look. 

In reality, the average person isn’t going to pay attention to your braces and the reward of a great smile when you’re done is worthwhile. 

Patients who are insecure about the appearance of braces should consider opting for clear aligners instead. For children in particular, though, braces are commonplace and shouldn’t be a concern.

Getting Ready for Your First Braces Installation? 

It’s normal to have the jitters before your first braces installation. There’s nothing to be worried about.

While you may have some discomfort and difficulty eating at first, you’ll end the experience with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile that’s easier to maintain.

When you’re looking for the perfect orthodontist for your smile journey, visit our site to look at the services that we provide. We want to get you the smile that you deserve.

Stay Safe: 5 Ways To Protect your Braces

Stay Safe: 5 Ways To Protect your Braces

Over 4 million people in the U.S. wear braces to fix overbites or underbites, crooked teeth, and correct irregular jaw positions. 

Braces are the key to a winning smile so it’s crucial to protect them so they do an effective job. If you’re not sure how to do this, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are five ways to protect your braces.

1. Brush and Floss Every Day

If you’re unsure how to protect braces, the best place to start is by maintaining good oral hygiene. Brush in the morning and evening to properly remove food debris from around the braces to protect your teeth and gums.

First, rinse your mouth out with water to loosen food caught in your braces. Then remove elastics or any other removable components before brushing. 

Next, hold a manual or electric toothbrush at a 45-degree angle at the gum line and move back-and-forth, covering the tooth’s entire surface area. Focus on the wires and brackets of the braces and start from top-to-bottom, remembering to clean each tooth with gentle pressure. To get a better look, hold back your lip and brush the bracket areas. 

A great way to get between your teeth or clean between the wires is by getting interdental brushes. If there are tighter spaces, use floss thread to remove leftover food that your toothbrush and interdental brush can’t reach. Work it back-and-forth several times between the teeth and wire.

And, for good measure, finish with a swig of mouthwash.

2. Avoid Certain Foods

Start protecting your braces by watching what you eat. Braces have become sturdier thanks to modern technology but certain food that can damage the wire, rubber bands, and the bracket.

As a general rule, avoid food that is sticky, hard, or chewy. These include:

  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Gum
  • Apples
  • Corn on the cob 

You must also avoid habits like chewing on pens, nails, or straws as it could harm your braces. Make adjustments so instead of biting into an apple, cut it up into small pieces or choose hull-less popcorn when you’re at the movies.

Recommended foods include:

  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Fruits without pits like bananas
  • Light crackers
  • Noodle dishes

You must maintain a nutritious diet for your oral and overall health. When you do this, you’ll reap the benefits of your orthodontic treatment as a balanced diet sends nutrients to bones and tissues, crucial when you’re wearing braces.

3. Visit Your Orthodontist Regularly 

If your child needs help protecting braces, visit their orthodontist, and avoid skipping appointments. Once the braces are fitted, your little one must visit the orthodontist every six weeks for adjustments.

If they experience pressure for more than a week, contact the orthodontist so they can see whether the braces aren’t adjusted properly or if a part is broken. 

Your child must also visit a dental hygienist twice a year to ensure their teeth and gums are healthy. The oral hygienist will also check for signs of gum disease or cavities as this is a risk if you wear braces but don’t maintain good oral hygiene.

4. Wear a Mouthguard

Not sure how to protect your braces in a fighting sport? 

You must tell your child, “protect your braces while playing sports” by wearing a mouthguard. It’s possible to get a custom-fitted mouthguard that fits snugly over braces.

Orthodontic mouthguards also protect your brackets from impact-related damage so your little one’s lips aren’t caught in the braces which can be excruciating (as you can imagine!). 

Or you can get a boil and bite version at a sporting goods or drug store. For this type of mouthguard to work, you must boil them in hot water and ask your child to bite down so it shapes itself to their mouth.

But although they’re cheaper, they may not fit as well or offer the best protection so it’s better to get orthodontic mouthguards. 

Mouthguards are crucial during sports otherwise the wires or brackets may break or bend which causes pain and discomfort. Further, broken braces may affect teeth movement if the problem isn’t repaired in a timely fashion.

5. Fix Small Issues Immediately 

If wires break or protrude because of an injury, you must visit the orthodontist immediately.

It’s unlikely you need an emergency procedure performed unless you have other injuries like a cracked or missing tooth. 

There may be a day or two until your appointment but you can use orthodontist wax to fix issues like a protruding wire. To do this, take a pencil from the eraser-end and position the wire to a less uncomfortable area. Then, cover the end of the wire with orthodontic wax so it doesn’t cut into the mouth. 

You can also use wax to reattach loose brackets or acts as a cushion between the bracket and gums. If your child has loose bands, these will need to be replaced so save the band and schedule an appointment.

The same goes for loose spacers.

That’s How to Protect Your Braces 

Now you know how to protect your braces whether it’s playing sports or avoiding food that can cause damage.

It’s important to regularly visit the orthodontist so they can make necessary adjustments so avoid skipping appointments. Further, your child must brush and floss daily to maintain healthy gums.

Whenever your little one has a small issue like a bent wire, schedule an appointment immediately as it could compromise the teeth.

If you or your child needs orthodontic treatment, we’d love to help. Complete a referral form here.