Orthodontic treatment in dentistry refers to the different procedures that help to correct the alignment of teeth, straighten them, move them to the correct position and thus improve the appearance of the teeth.
Different treatment options are chosen for improving the appearance and self-confidence of a person, and for improving oral and dental health. Orthodontic treatment is adopted by both children and adults to correct the misalignment of teeth.
Orthodontic treatment options that are commonly chosen include fixed or removable braces, headgear etc. The type of appliance that is suitable can be decided only after a dental consultation. This will help the dentist understand the dental concern that is affecting the person, the real nature of the problem, the oral and dental health of the person, and also how the dental procedure adopted will help improve the oral health of the person.
In this article, we will discuss some concerns that may happen after orthodontic treatment.
Following good oral hygiene practice is very important, and it becomes all the more important after a person has undergone orthodontic treatment. Dental appliances like braces are placed to correct the misalignment in teeth. These braces will mostly be fixed and they cannot be removed daily. This will create chances of plaque/tartar build up in the teeth.
Cleaning of teeth is difficult when braces/orthodontic appliances are placed, because the wires do not allow easy and free access to cleaning. This will result in food debris being stuck between the teeth. This will attract bacterial action and tartar formation results. This can progress to tooth decay if proper care is not taken.
When orthodontic appliances are worn, cleaning of the teeth should be done very carefully. This also holds for those who are wearing removable braces. Cleaning of braces is also equally important as cleaning of teeth to prevent bacterial action. Dental consultations and guidance will help provide support in this aspect.
Similar to the issues affecting the teeth, an infection can also happen in the gum tissues. When there is plaque formation due to a lack of proper oral hygiene, inflammation or gingivitis can occur. The gum lining gets irritated due to plaque formation and they get swollen. The infection at the base of the teeth will spread to the gum tissues and they lose their ability in supporting the teeth.
Gingivitis is one common dental concern that is seen in those who undergo orthodontic treatment. Another issue that develops is gum thinning, this occurs if the movement of the tooth during the treatment progresses in an unrestrained manner.
Usually when orthodontic treatment is planned, then dentists will recommend treatment for those who have issues in the gum lining have it treated or have it controlled before using devices. Gum diseases can be controlled if oral/dental health is maintained. This requires giving adequate attention to the cleaning of the oral tissues and checking with dentists if any issue arises.
Change in lifestyle/food habits
Another major change that comes after orthodontic treatment is in lifestyle and food habits. When appliances are constantly worn like braces, food habits need to be changed to suit them. Wires restrict the ability to consume all types of food as before.
Sugary and sticky food like sweets get stuck to the wires and it is difficult to clean them. Food that is hard to chew like nuts will put pressure on the teeth while trying to chew them. Pressure on the teeth will get transferred to the devices and can damage them. Some prefer to consume fizzy or carbonated drinks, but consuming them can lead to decalcification of the teeth especially in places under the braces.
It is thus important to consume food that suits the orthodontic devices that are used. Consulting with the dentist when the orthodontic treatment is planned will be helpful to understand what type of food is acceptable and supports treatment.
When it comes to lifestyle changes, the main focus here will be the importance given to oral and dental hygiene. Brushing teeth twice a day, especially after consuming food, and using mouthwash to clean any food particles left in the mouth is essential to prevent plaque formation and support the orthodontic treatment.
Time for dental consultations
Orthodontic treatment requires some time set aside for the treatment. The consultations will depend on each person’s needs and dental concerns but generally frequent consultations are needed. It is important to set aside time to undergo this treatment.
Along with the treatment consultations, there will also be consultations that are not planned due to any issues that crop up suddenly. Some will need adjustments done to be able to carry on with their daily activities. It is important to understand how orthodontic treatment takes place and also how it will affect the daily aspects of one’s life.
It is important to set aside some time during dental consultations and understand the issues involved before deciding on the treatment. Adequate planning as in planning time away from work or other duties needs to be thought ahead before deciding to go for orthodontic treatment.
Speech and sores
Braces are metallic structures that are placed to correct alignment, when they are placed in the mouth along with altering the position of the teeth in the mouth, speech patterns will also be affected. The speech will not be clear and some words will be pronounced differently as the devices affect the speech pattern. These defects are pronounced in the earlier days of using braces but will change as one gets used to them.
Another minor issue that will crop up after orthodontic treatment is mouth sores. Brushing of the wires against the cheeks, and soft tissues of the mouth will cause bruising and sores will develop. But this will change once a person gets adjusted to wearing braces, and know how to navigate them while speaking. Dentists can be consulted if the sores are painful and medication will help to heal them faster.