As an orthodontist in Leawood, we treat both children and adults that are looking to improve their smile by straightening their teeth. At Dr. Laura’s Orthodontics we have a variety of methods to do so. These treatment methods include braces, aligners and removable oral appliances. Our treatment recommendations are customized for the patient’s needs and oral health, which help to ensure beautiful results.
While wearing braces, some patients may struggle with various problems in their dental care. It can be difficult to adjust to the braces and continue to take care of one’s teeth. The good news is that many of these problems are entirely avoidable. If you live in the local area, we invite you to call (913) 971-4159 and schedule a consultation to discuss each of these items in detail. In the meantime here is what you need to know :
While wearing braces, patients throughout Kansas and elsewhere, are at a greater risk for developing gum disease. This condition typically occurs as a result of bacteria building up along the gum line. Patients may experience inflammation, bleeding and irritation as the bacteria becomes trapped in the gums. If left untreated, the condition may worsen to the point that the gums start to recede and pockets form in the gum tissue. This can lead to further irritation, bone loss and decay. People wearing braces are at a particular risk for this condition because of how difficult it is to clean around the gums. Dr. Laura can show you how to properly clean your teeth and provide professional cleanings by registered dental hygienists in order to prevent gum disease.
Since it is difficult to clean teeth while wearing braces, there is an increased risk for getting a cavity. We understand the increased risk may frighten people away from braces, but we have the tools to help you keep clean teeth during this process. We have dentists that can monitor your teeth and detect any issues early to help prevent damage to your teeth while wearing braces. The metal brackets and wires placed onto your teeth can sometimes cause spaces where food, bacteria and plaque can easily become trapped. At Dr. Laura’s Orthodontics, we will recommend that patients use special tools to brush around their brackets and take extra time to make sure that teeth get as clean as possible. Getting your teeth cleaned on a regular basis or even more often during orthodontic treatment is another way to prevent cavities.
Staining is one of the common problems that can occur with braces. Food can gather around the brackets, staining the teeth when a patient does not remove it quickly. Since it can be difficult to clean teeth with braces, many people will end up with a white spot where the bracket was. Thus, the rest of the tooth will look yellow in comparison. This problem is even more common with children since it is more difficult for them to take care of their teeth with braces. We recommend that adults and children have teeth cleaning every few months to help prevent staining during orthodontic treatment. A professional dental whitening procedure after getting braces taken off may help remove any stains that have developed during the course of the treatment.
Bad breath is a common problem that people struggle with. Typical causes include foods that you eat, poor oral hygiene and dental infections. In addition to staying away from foods that contribute to bad breath like too much garlic, we recommend that patients have their teeth cleaned several times a year in order to remove plaque and bacteria that could be causing the smell. People wearing braces or an oral appliance need to be careful and brush thoroughly because the plastic in retainers, braces and oral appliances can easily hold onto smells.
Dr. Laura helps patients to avoid common problems with braces and the demineralization of teeth during orthodontic treatment is a problem near the top of the list. This condition can occur due to acid attacking the teeth. People that suffer from acid reflux or eat foods that are high in acid content are at the greatest risk for this occurring. Demineralization results in a white, scar-like mark forming on the teeth near where the bracket once was. This can also create sensitivity since the enamel has less minerals in that area. The white spot are repairable with non-invasive treatments if they are minimal. Severe white spot lesions require traditional fillings for repair.
As an orthodontist, we find that many of our patients will get a loose bracket at some point during their treatment. The brackets are secured to the teeth using a resin composite glue. Brackets are not meant to stay on forever, so the glue strength for the bracket is made to be able to be removed with moderate pressure once braces are finished. When eating hard foods like nuts, the bracket can become loose or even pop off. This can cause the wire to poke out into the cheek. This can lead to discomfort for the surrounding cheeks and lips. We suggest using a special wax that can be placed around and on top of the wire and bracket until we can repair it in our office. This will help you to remain comfortable. We can explain more about the wax product when you visit our office.
A broken wire is also a very common problem with braces. By eating something hard, you can cause your wire to become loose. When it does, it may poke you in the cheek or other areas of your mouth, causing severe discomfort or the wire may even break. While it may be tempting to, Dr. Laura recommends that you call our emergency line and a professional associate will advise you on what action to take, whether it’s to cut the wire on your own, place wax over the area or wait until you come into our office to deal with the loose/broken wire. We want to minimize the risk of accidentally swallowing a broken piece of appliance.
Broken Rubber Bands
This is a simple one and if the rubber bands surrounding your brackets become loose, schedule an appointment to have them replaced with in a timely manner. Please do not wait until your next appointment, your tooth may move to an unwanted place and may delay your treatment time.
Loose Bands or Spacers
Bands and spacers help make the necessary room for teeth to move into the right position. From time to time, they can get loose due to what a person eats. Only an orthodontist or trained orthodontic assistant can secure them in place or replace them entirely. Some patients may try to take care of this on their own and only create more problems in the process.
As an orthodontist, we understand that while there are several common problems with braces, the procedure can be completed without any significant issues. Most of the problems patients have with braces are preventable by eating a diet that will not damage the teeth. A diet that cuts back or reduces sugar will help to keep your teeth in good condition. Nuts, candy and other hard foods are also known to cause problems in patients with braces.
At Dr. Laura’s Orthodontics, we also recommend that patients throughout the local area take good care of their teeth by brushing and flossing throughout the day. It is also crucial that patients have their teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year. To learn more about how to keep braces in good shape and how to prevent common problems, call 913-971-4159 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Laura.
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