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Dental braces, also known as orthodontic cases, cases, or simply braces, are devices placed on the teeth by an orthodontist with the purpose of adjusting or straightening. Through braces, your crowded, protruding, or crowded teeth would be realigned in an aesthetically pleasing manner. They also correct the bite so the top and bottom teeth meet when the mouth is closed. The length of treatment depends on what is being treated, although it usually lasts from 18 months to three years. Braces also require regular visits to the orthodontist every three to six weeks for care and maintenance.
Why the Need to Regularly Visit Your Orthodontist
Every four to eight weeks, your orthodontist needs to make adjustments to your braces by way of wire-changers, or by adding springs, elastics, and other accessories. These are needed to make your braces work properly. If you do not come regularly, you may have a longer time wearing your braces or the progress of the treatment might reverse or stop.
Also, there is a great need to remove plaque and tartar while you undergo orthodontic treatment. When you have braces, food particles are likely to get caught in places your toothbrush is unable reach. This may eventually cause buildup of bacteria, and consequently, bring you cavities, gum diseases, or gingivitis. To prevent this, have a professional clean your teeth – one who is able to make sure plaque and tartar are properly removed. Also, having cavities can prolong your orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist can provide fluoride and other treatments to protect your teeth from cavities throughout the process.
Regular appointments also give your orthodontist the opportunity to evaluate the movement of your teeth. That way, they can make the necessary adjustments and recommendations in your treatment. Usually, the original plan for your treatment predicts the entire treatment process. However, the teeth are constantly moving during the treatment so there could be a new set of circumstances that come up for the orthodontist to evaluate.
If you want your braces to be removed as planned, it is important to visit your orthodontist regularly. It is natural to feel sore for a few hours or few days after the adjustment but understand this is normal after every adjustment. If this is uncomfortable for you, do not be afraid to ask your orthodontist for a possible solution. A professional orthodontist will give you pain management techniques similar to those you have had when you first got your braces.
Written by Dr. Darren Wittenberger, the best orthodontist Columbia MO has to offer, and owner of his own practice, Advance Orthodontics. Dr. Wittenberger enjoys sharing his expertise to ensure people can maintain the healthiest, straightest teeth possible!