Straighter Teeth for a Happier Smile!
Dental Braces in Whitecourt
With all of the people who wear braces, it would be easy to think that everyone who wears braces is doing so solely for the purpose of vanity. While it is true that straight teeth are the most visually appealing, there are many reasons to warrant orthodontic braces. To learn more about your options for dental braces in Whitecourt, please give us a call!
When dentists and orthodontists assess the alignment of the teeth, they’re not just looking to ensure that the teeth are evenly placed along the dental arches in an orderly fashion. In fact, they are observing the relationship of the upper and lower arches and assessing whether the bite can be improved.
‘Bite’ can be categorized as being Class 1,2 or 3. Class 1 bite refers to a relationship between the upper and lower jaw that is ideal or deviates only slightly from an ideal relationship. This can be true even when there are some teeth slightly out of ideal alignment (too close together, too far apart or turned/leaning). Class 2 bite refers to lower jaw positioning that is too far toward the back of the mouth, referred to as overbite. Conversely, class 3 bite refers to underbite – a condition which positions the jaw further forward than is should be in order to achieve an ideal bite.
When malocclusion (poor bite) is apparent in the mouth, the result can be a number of unpleasant symptoms beyond appearance alone. In order for the jaw to function properly, a complex system of soft and hard tissues, ligament and bone need to work together efficiently. When alignment is off, the jaw may be susceptible to pain and discomfort during eating and speech and quality of sleep can be affected.
Who is a Candidate for Braces?
In order to determine whether you or your child are candidates for braces, it is necessary to discuss this with your dentist. The presence of restorations in the mouth such as crowns, veneers and implants may require additional measures to be taken in order for you to experience success with dental braces.
Braces are commonly installed on patients who have lost all of their baby teeth and whose permanent teeth have all emerged from the gums. In some cases, however, limited braces may be used as a preventative measure to limit crowding in order to assist the permanent teeth in emerging without obstruction.
What Should I Know Before I Begin Treatment with Braces?
Braces are well known for their effectiveness in treating even complex cases of malocclusion, but braces remain a commitment that should be given careful consideration.
Braces are a commitment that can last between 18 and 36 months in total, depending upon the circumstances that they are trying to correct as well as how well the patient complies with regular adjustments. Adjustments are necessary to ensure that the braces progressively move the teeth over time. Without adjustments, the teeth will remain in their position. Although adjustments can cause some discomfort in the days after the appointment, this discomfort is natural and is typically well managed by avoiding hard foods, drinking cool beverages and using an over the counter pain reliever as required.
Braces will require some lifestyle changes for most patients where eating and oral hygiene are concerned. Since braces add complexity to the mouth, they also offer many more places for food and plaque to settle into. For this reason, wearers of braces are encouraged not to eat foods which can become lodged in the brackets and archwire, such as popcorn, and they should also abstain from eating sticky foods like gummy candies which can cause the brackets to break away from the teeth. Cobs of corn and whole apples will be off the menu too, since the action of biting into these foods put the brackets on the front teeth at risk of breaking away from the tooth surface.
The nature of the structure of dental braces means that irritation of the soft tissues around them, most noticeably the cheeks, can occur. In these cases, it will be important to use dental wax diligently to prevent discomfort and allow healing of the irritated tissues to occur.
Learning how to keep braces clean typically presents a learning curve for those in the early stages of wearing orthodontic braces. In order to prevent gingivitis or dental cavities, it is important to clean the teeth thoroughly after meals and to floss the teeth regularly. Since the archwire of the braces prevents easy access to the teeth, we recommend that our patients use a floss threader to assist them in flossing effectively. Although this process does require some getting used to, many of our patients have developed a new oral care routine that they can follow with ease within only a few days.
Maintaining Your Straight Teeth
Once braces have been removed, it is important to note that the use of a retainer will be necessary. While retainers should be worn often in the days following removal, frequency and duration of retainer wear can decrease over time until it can be worn every second night.
Talk to Us!
It’s never too late to consider improving your smile! If you think that braces may be for you, we encourage you to book at appointment with our friendly staff to discuss your suitability. With a variety of modern techniques and technologies we are confident that we can enhance the function and appearance of your smile. All services performed by a general dentist.