In that case your family dentist will refer you to a qualified orthodontist who specializes in correcting overcrowded or crooked teeth.
Braces are not necessarily a rite of passage for every child who hits the 10- to 14-year-old mark. But for some, they are necessary for achieving straight teeth, enhanced dental function, and potentially improved overall health. And, of course, braces always help to create a beautiful smile!
Caring for teeth with braces, however, is no easy task. Just think about all the stuff that gets stuck in between the spaces between the wires of the braces. Food. Plaque. (Yuch!) If good oral hygiene is not practiced, the trapped food and plaque could easily cause decay and stain the tooth enamel. Bleached spots on the teeth can also result from a reaction of the metal in the braces to the food and bacteria in the mouth.
Not to worry, though. It is possible to keep teeth and braces clean. First, brush after every meal to remove stubborn food particles that are stuck in braces. A regular soft toothbrush will work. Start by brushing from the top down. Then brush up from the bottom of each tooth that has braces. Once completed, use a “Christmas tree” brush (also known as a proxabrush) to clean between braces.
Once brushing is completed, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash, which will help clean out areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. Use dedicated orthodontic floss – which can be purchased at drug stores – at least once a day to ensure areas between braces and under wires stay clean.
Those who wear braces can eat most foods, though there are some that would need to be cut into small pieces so they are more easily consumed. But there are some exceptions. Avoid foods such as bagels and apples, as they are hard. Also, candies such as taffy or caramel are definitely out because they are too chewy (and on that note, add bubble gum to that). Corn on the cob is not a good idea (unless you cut the corn off the cob), as are foods that can get stuck between your braces, such as popcorn, nuts, carrots or hard pretzels. In addition, avoid chewing ice.
Think you or someone in your family might need braces? The first stop in the process would be a consultation with your family dentist. And if you are looking for a family dentist in the Columbus or Reynoldsburg areas, you need not look any further. Our trained experts are qualified to assess all of your dental care needs. So whether you need routine preventive care or a consultation about orthodontics, feel free to give us a call and make an appointment today!