Braces 101: How to Care, Types, & More

Braces in London, Ontario are perhaps the most widely-used dental solution to straighten teeth and correct misaligned bites in both children and adults. While the most popular type is the traditional metal braces, there are other options available that you can choose from.

If you think that braces are indeed the right teeth straightening solution for you, the dentist or orthodontist will recommend an appliance that is specific to your dental health needs. Braces are made up of wires, bands, other fixed or removable corrective materials. While it is the most popular teeth-straightening solution, not every method works for every patient.

  • Metal/traditional braces

Metal braces are considered traditional and widely used. Brackets are attached to the front teeth or bands that fit around each tooth. They also include archwires designed to securely hold the brackets or bands together in place. However, some metal braces use metal ties or rubber bands that connect the brackets to the wire. The bands are designed to create more pressure, which aids in aligning and straightening your teeth. In some cases, the dentist may recommend you wearing a removable headgear device at night for added pressure.

  • Ceramic braces

The brackets used in traditional braces are now available in tooth-coloured ceramic materials, so they will be less noticeable. Other options you can choose from are stainless steel, clear materials, and gold.

  • Lingual braces

The type of braces has brackets that are fastened to the back of your teeth, facing your tongue. This makes lingual braces harder to see.

  • Invisalign or Clear Aligners

Perhaps, you are familiar with clear aligners or Invisalign in Sarnia. These invisible braces are made of clear plastic trays that are custom-designed to fit snugly onto your teeth. Invisible braces also use pressure to gently shift the teeth into their proper positions and correct bite misalignment. Unlike other types of braces, Invisalign can be removed, allowing you to eat, brush and floss your teeth conveniently. However, it should be worn at least 22 hours each day to achieve the desired results. The orthodontics professional in Burlington may also prescribe tooth-coloured attachments to hold the aligners securely in place.

You need to see your orthodontist every month or so to ensure that your braces are putting steady pressure on your teeth. The orthodontist will need to adjust the wires or rubber bands to create more tension and pressure. In some cases, the dental professional may advice the patient to wear a headgear to provide additional support in straightening your teeth or shifting your jaw.

How to Care for Your Braces

The materials used in braces, such as wires, brackets, rubber bands, can attract food and plaque, which causes stains if not brushed away. That is why it is crucial to brush your teeth after each meal or snack with fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles trapped in your braces. Brush your teeth and braces with a regular soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure to use gentle strokes when brushing each tooth with braces. To floss your teeth with a brace, simply insert the short end of the floss in between the main archwire and the upper portion of the tooth nearest to the gum. Gently work the floss thread in a sawing motion on each side of the 2 teeth. Avoid pulling the thread with too much force around the archwire. The orthodontist may also suggest using a Waterpik or AirFlosser to flush out stuck food. Rinsing your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash can also get rid of small food particles in places that your toothbrush cannot reach. Repeat the process until all teeth have been thoroughly cleaned.