The amount of time actually spent with the orthodontist is a small fraction of the overall treatment tine. The orthodontist is responsible for planning, coordinating and initiating tooth movements. However, the actual movement of the teeth takes place between treatment visits. Co-operation of patients is therefore essential and means:
1. Keeping all appointments as scheduled
Being prompt on all your appointments allows the Orthodontist and Orthodontic Auxiliaries to carry out the treatment needed on patients. Delay in appointments means there is a chance treatment might be delayed.
2.Wearing all appliances, elastics, headgear, retainers etc, as requested and as instructed
Non-compliance by patient could lead to delay in treatment timeline. Failure to follow instructions may result in less effective and longer treatment. Treatment may have to be discontinued if patient (and parent) co-operation is not adequate. If treatment is discontinued before completion for any reason, there may be adverse effects for the patient.
3.Maintaining a good balanced diet
Diets that are high in sugar and carbohydrates tend to cause plaque. If plaque stays on the teeth over a long period of time it can cause tooth decay. With the placement of braces there will be the increase of difficulty in cleaning teeth.
4.Avoiding activities and foods that could damage or dislodge the appliances
Orthodontic appliances are not toys. They are precisely designed to treat specific problems. All appliances are obviously foreign to the body and care must be taken to avoid activities and foods which loosen or dislodge parts which could be swallowed or inhaled.
5.Maintaining excellent oral hygiene
Caring For Teeth And Gums
The key to healthy teeth and gums is proper plaque removal every day. Plaque is the sticky colourless film of bacteria that is constantly forming on your teeth. If it is left to build up, it is one of the main causes of tooth decay and gum disease.
Follow the steps provided with maintain healthy teeth and gums ~
- Brush your teeth, gums and braces at least three times a day (especially after eating)
- Clean between the teeth at least once a day (definitely before you go to bed)
- Use a fluoride toothpaste (Fluoride) is proven to help prevent cavities
- Use a fluoride mouth rinse at least once a day to help reduce the risk of cavities
Caring For Braces
After braces are put there is a more urgent need to main healthy teeth and gums.
Doing a good job may seem difficult with braces. But keep at it! With a bit of practice it will get easier.
- First, take off any removable parts like elastic bands and headgear
- Place your gum at an angle of about 45 degrees to the gum and apply gentle pressure as you brush with a gentle back and forward, up and down, or round and round motion. Clean each tooth individually for about 10 seconds
- Use the same brushing motion on the inner and outer surface of all teeth
- Don’t forget to brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth – and make sure you reach the back teeth too
- Finish by cleaning around your braces, brushing first from the top and then from the bottom. Brush gently and take care not to bend or break any of the brackets or wires
The braces will not by themselves cause harm to your teeth or gum tissues but food accumulation around braces will, if not removed, it will endanger your teeth and gums. Poor hygiene may result in cavities, decalcification (white spots), discoloured teeth and gum disease. Other problems such as a loss in the height of the supporting bone of the teeth and gums, abnormal wearing of the teeth, shortening of the roots of the teeth, de-vitalised teeth, abscess and recession of the gums may occur during orthodontic treatment. These conditions may be associated with orthodontics but they also (mostly) occur for other reasons.