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Caring for Your Braces at Home

Congratulations on beginning your path to a perfect smile! Like other major investments, braces are not something you buy and forget about. Daily maintenance is required to keep braces clean and to ensure that your teeth remain healthy. Taking care of your braces isn’t much different from normal oral care, and involves many of the same tools. Ultimately, understanding the types of braces and their components can shed light on the best ways to care for them.

Types of Braces

The differences between the types of braces mostly pertain to visibility, cost and how much support they offer. While keeping these differences in mind, perusing the following types of braces will provide an idea of which are perfect for your oral care needs.

Metal Braces

The quintessential braces, they connect each tooth using a wire and metal brackets. These brackets are adorned with rubber bands, and the patient typically has the option to pick the colors.

Metal braces are often the cheapest option for straightening teeth. The biggest drawback of metal braces is they are easily seen by everyone who looks at you.  However, this traditional option is nothing to be ashamed of and can make you look simultaneously young and mature. The youth is in captured in our societal image of braces – as teenagers have historically cornered the market on orthodontics.  But mature in a sense that your oral health is a visible priority – self-care is always a wise and fashionable choice.

Ceramic Braces

When cosmetic dentistry began to surge in popularity, it wasn’t long before people wanted braces that were less visible. Ceramic braces are a step in the direction toward invisible braces, featuring brackets and wire that match the natural color of the teeth.

Since ceramic braces have the advantage of being somewhat less noticeable than metal braces, they are also a bit more expensive. Another hazard to watch for that can diminish the appeal of ceramic braces is that your clear brackets can stain easily, making them more noticeable than desired.

Lingual Braces

Continuing the trend of making braces less and less noticeable to onlookers, lingual braces have all hardware on the inside of the teeth. This makes them completely unnoticeable but can create a series of other complications due to the internal brackets and wires.

If your top concern is not having anyone see your braces, then lingual braces may be the best option. However, it’s important to note that cleaning and adjusting them is a significantly greater challenge than with other types of braces. It also may take a longer adjustment period to get used to brackets being on the inside of your teeth.

Why Do I Need to Wear Rubber Bands with My Braces?

Although notable for their custom colors, the rubber bands that adorn the brackets of braces serve a distinct purpose. These small rubber bands, called ligatures, have the important task of securing the arch wire to the bracket of each tooth. If you get tired of the color scheme you chose for your ligatures, don’t worry – your Miami orthodontist can change them each time adjustments are made to your braces.

How To Clean Your Braces

Research shows that every bad oral report from your orthodontist will increase the time you need to wear braces by 2.5 weeks.  Not only does this amount to extra time and money, but it needlessly prolongs the process of correcting your teeth. By properly cleaning both your teeth and braces each day, you can avoid the problems associated with neglected oral care.

  • When brushing, remember to brush each bracket on your teeth.
  • Brush out any debris from the arch wires.
  • Get underneath the arch wires to floss in between each tooth.
  • Consider using a water flosser to make cleaning your braces easier
  • A fluoride toothpaste can help prevent white spots
  • Expect braces to make your teeth tender for a few days after the procedure

Emergency Care For Braces

If you sustain an injury that causes your braces to become damaged or dislodged, contact Dr. Gussmark at the Centre for Braces for an emergency appointment. By acting quickly, your orthodontist will be able to restore the progress you’ve made with your braces and continue your treatment. If any parts fall out, it’s important to bring them in as well so Dr. Grussmark has the best possible understanding of what happened.