Teeth can be straightened and faulty bites corrected at any age using dental braces. This process is called orthodontic treatment. Treatment times vary, according to the difficulty of the underlying problem, but usually take in the region of 15 – 30 months. During this time, the patient needs to be seen by the orthodontist approximately every 6 weeks to adjust the braces. At the end of treatment, it is important that the teeth are held in their new positions by retainers, or else they will become irregular. Dental braces come in many forms:
In addition to our range of orthodontic treatments, Queens Gate Orthodontics are proud to also offer:
People with braces should pay special care to look after their teeth and gums as the appliances can easily trap food and plaque and if this is not cleaned off properly it can lead to brown/white unsightly marks on teeth, decay, gum disease and bad breath. A good oral hygiene routine to control the plaque build-up is the best way to avoid problems and to ensure you will have a beautiful, healthy smile. Your daily care should include:
Brushing should be done every morning and night and after meals, ideally with an electric toothbrush.
The bristles should be angled under the brace towards the gum line and each tooth should be gently brushed in small circular motions then repeat above the brace to brush the tops of the teeth. This should take at least 2 minutes.
Care should be taken to make sure the brackets of the brace are also brushed where plaque bacteria easily builds up. A single-tufted brush like this can help to clean each bracket.
Fluoride toothpaste should be used; after brushing spit it out but don’t rinse it away so the fluoride can soak into the teeth to protect them.
Interdental brushes – a thick one (like a green/yellow) should be used under the wires of the brace between each tooth to make sure all plaque is removed from under the wires. And a thin interdental brush should be used in between each tooth to clean the sides of the teeth.
Fluoride mouthwash can be used at a separate time to brushing for extra protections but make sure it doesn’t contain any alcohol to reduce your risk of mouth cancer.
If you have a removable appliance this should be removed and brushed daily on all surfaces the same way as you brush your teeth. A cleaning solution can be used from time to time.
Never put it in hot water as it can distort the plastic and make it unwearable.
Always keep the appliance in its case when it is not being worn.
You should try to eliminate any foods that can cause decay; this means sweets, fizzy drinks, juices, chocolate, biscuits etc. And be wary of snacking on hidden sugars found in dried fruit, yoghurts, some cereals and packaged soups / sauces.
Avoid hard chewy foods that can damage your appliance and also habits such as nail biting / chewing pens.
Lastly, make sure you continue to visit your dentist regularly for regular check-ups.
If you have any questions or think you may need some more help or advice, don’t hesitate to ask our hygienist, Amy.