Orthodontics 101: All the Info You Need About Braces from Dr. Swathi!
For countless years, braces have been the go-to method for patients of all ages who are dissatisfied with the shape of their smile. Misalignments, crookedness, unsightly gaps – they can all chip away at your self-confidence over time, making it harder and harder to engage with your peers and enjoy your life to the fullest! That’s why Dr. Swathi is happy to offer this transformative cosmetic treatment at her San Jose dental practice. But once you’ve had your braces placed, what comes next? How should you care for them? What should you eat? What do all the little components even do? Thankfully, our team is committed to providing you all the information you could possibly need to ensure that your braces treatment is smooth and successful. Read on to learn more!
Types of Appliances
Your braces will consist of a few crucial parts that all work together to move your teeth into an ideal alignment. There’s the main wire – often referred to as the “archwire” – that will fit on the outside of your teeth and provide most of the force required. It will fit into your brackets, small attachments that are bonded to your teeth, which will help to transmit the force directly from the wire to your teeth. Elastic ligatures will connect these two pieces together – they’re the little rings that come in a variety of colors for you to choose from. Bands and hooks are other attachments that also help us care for each individual tooth and ensure that they’re making process.
We may also prescribe you additional accessories in order to enhance your orthodontic care at our San Jose office, such as:
- Headgear, which is often used to correct overbites or underbites. It exerts a stronger pulling force on the teeth, correcting protrusion.
- Separators, which are small rubber pieces that we sometimes need to place between teeth in order to make space for braces.
- Retainers, which are used once your treatment with braces is complete. Retainers help you maintain the beautiful results you’ve achieved with braces.
Cleaning Your Braces
While it may seem difficult to have to adjust your usual oral hygiene routine in order to accommodate your new braces, all you really need to do is exert a little more caution and care in order to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy!
When flossing, thread the floss over the wire and through the teeth. Be sure to maneuver near the gums so as to catch any tricky food particles that may be hiding there! If avoiding the wire is difficult for you, a floss threader could produce better results. If you do find yourself having to hit the wire, just be sure not to put too much pressure on it! Gentleness is key here – move the floss as softly as you can around your mouth, and you shouldn’t have any problems.
When brushing, it’s perfectly fine to use a normal toothbrush. However, once you’ve completed your regular routine, we recommend that you also use a proxabrush. This helpful tool can be used to clean between your brackets, making oral health with orthodontics a breeze!
Foods to Avoid
Certain kinds of food can inadvertently damage braces, which is why making changes to your diet is necessary for all orthodontic patients. Don’t worry, though – soon, you’ll be able to eat anything you’d like, and with a brand-new smile to match!
Here at Valley Fair Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we strongly suggest avoiding:
- Incredibly sticky foods, such as gums or caramel
- Tough foods, like nuts and hard candies
- Anything that needs to be constantly bit down on in order to eat, like apples or carrots
- Overly crunchy items, like popcorn or ice
In addition, do your best to avoid chewing on tough, non-edible items, like pens or pencils. This can also cause damage to your braces, which usually delays treatment.
If your braces have suffered critical damage or are causing you severe pain, please refer to our Emergency Orthodontic Care page for more information. Additionally, if you have a question about braces that isn’t answered here, please check our FAQs page to see if the answer might be there. Orthodontics can give you the five-star smile you’ve always been dreaming of, and Dr. Swathi and her team are happy to help you take the first step towards lifelong happiness. Contact our San Jose office today to learn more, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment. Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Rose Garden, Willow Glen, Saratoga, Los Gatos, and surrounding communities. We offer a complimentary consultation to help you get started!