The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends seeing an orthodontist by the age of 7. In some children, this is an ideal age for correction, because the first permanent molars have typically come in by this time, and crossbites, crowding, and other common problems can be evaluated and addressed before they worsen.
Early treatment can radically simplify (and in some cases do away with altogether) later treatment. It gives an orthodontist the ability to monitor the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. It allows the doctor to regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, to gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for extractions, and reduce the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth.
Technological advancements in orthodontics allow us to treat adult patients faster, more comfortably, and more discretely than ever before. Whether you have never had braces, or you had them in your youth and are noticing your teeth moving back out of alignment, we offer aesthetic treatment options like Invisalign that will help you to achieve a beautiful result quicker than you might think!
Using a soft bristled toothbrush begin by brushing the outside of your teeth and braces holding the brush tilted at a 45 degree angle. Brush along the top and bottom of the braces using light to moderate pressure, making sure you cover every surface very carefully. Don’t forget to brush the teeth all the way in the back and behind your back molars. It’s a good practice to brush for three minutes at least twice a day. Using a timer or singing along to a song will help you keep track of your time.
Flossing at least once a day is very important for good dental hygiene and to keep your teeth healthy. Flossing with braces may seem difficult at first. To floss properly, you will need to thread the floss under the archwire. This can be done in two ways – either by threading the floss through on your own or using a floss threader to thread the floss under the wire.
When threading the floss, it is a good practice to start by pushing the floss vertically from the top to the bottom on your upper teeth and from the bottom to the top on your bottom teeth, always threading away from your gums. Once threaded, carefully floss around each tooth and gum, moving the floss up and down, just like you did without braces.
For situations requiring immediate medical attention, you should contact your doctor or local emergency medical services.
For orthodontic-related emergencies, our office is here to help. Most emergency situations can be temporarily taken care of at home, though. Usually loose brackets and wires that are causing some discomfort or poking can be covered in wax or pushed back into place. Loose and poking wires can be manipulated using tweezers or a pencil eraser. It’s still important to call the office and set up an appointment to have the issue corrected.
In the event of a more severe issue (an appliance breaks, a wire slips loose, or is preventing the mouth from opening or closing) call our office to schedule an appointment and have the problem taken care of right away.
Keep in mind that there may be some discomfort for a few weeks after getting your braces on and for several days after an adjustment. In these situations, rinsing with salt water or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may alleviate the pain.