The Basics You Need to Know About Braces and Orthodontics

Understanding the process of getting braces and​ orthodontics does not need to send you into a tailspin. Here, you will find everything you need to know about braces and orthodontics, from why you may need braces to how to fix a broken bracket.

1
Do You Need Braces?

Dentist looking at girls teeth
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The first step in the process of getting braces is finding out if you truly need braces. Understanding why your child, loved one, or even you yourself might need braces can be complex and varies with each individual. Learn about who may need braces and the potential benefits of braces, which go beyond just having straight teeth.

2
Orthodontic Records

Long before you actually get your braces put onto your teeth, your orthodontist will obtain orthodontic records from you. Orthodontic records contain information on your past dental history, and they work to help your orthodontist plan your treatment, from where each bracket needs to be placed to predicting what your teeth will look like when your treatment has been completed.

3
Adult Braces

Although braces are often applied during childhood, braces aren't just for kids. Braces are actually for anyone interested in improving their teeth. Adult orthodontic treatment is becoming a very popular form of cosmetic dentistry, as many people wish to preserve their natural enamel rather than have veneers or crowns implanted to improve their smile. Celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Danny Glover sported them in public and helped make people aware of the options. If you are dissatisfied with your alignment, make an appointment with an orthodontist to see what is right for you.

4
How to Brush and Floss With Braces

Flossing your teeth is hard enough, but for someone with braces the task of flossing daily becomes even more difficult. The braces tend to get in the way of the floss, which makes it difficult to reach certain spots. Oral-B has tips for brushing and flossing with braces. You'll want to remove elastics, bands, and other removable parts before brushing. You should brush each wire and then brush your teeth and rinse. When flossing, waxed floss is less likely to get caught and shredded in your braces. Thread it carefully under the main wire before flossing gently between a pair of teeth. You'll have to remove it and again rethread it under the main wire to floss each set of teeth.

5
What You Can and Can't Eat With Braces

Do you know what you can and can't eat with braces? While having braces makes the consumption of certain foods difficult, having braces doesn't mean that you will be living on pureed, bland foods throughout the course of your treatment. Knowing what foods you can and can't eat with your braces will help you achieve the optimum results after your orthodontic treatment has been completed.

  • Fruits: Choose soft fruits and cut hard fruits such as apples into pieces that are more easily chewed
  • Vegetables: Avoid hard, raw vegetables such as raw carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. But you need to enjoy a variety of vegetables for a healthy diet, so choose softer raw vegetables such as leafy greens and cook or steam vegetables for a softer texture.
  • Grains: These are often cooked or baked, but sometimes whole grains can get caught in your braces. Hard rolls can also be a problem with braces. Cut them into pieces for easier chewing.
  • Dairy: You won't have problems with most dairy products, although some types of cheese can get caught under your braces.
  • Meat: Eating meat from the bone and stringy cuts of meat are problems for getting caught in your braces or even damaging your braces. Remove meat from the bone, cut it into smaller bites, and choose tender cuts.
  • Nuts and Seeds: These can get caught in your braces and bend wires. You may want to choose nut butters and ground seeds instead.
  • Candy: You should avoid both sticky and hard candy when you wear braces.

6
When You Have a Loose Brace

Dealing with loose braces may be handled in a variety of ways, depending on the situation at hand. If your braces have become loose, you need not worry, because dealing with a loose bracket is easier than you might think. It is always a good idea to immediately inform your orthodontist if a brace becomes loose, or if you are having any other issues related to your braces. 

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