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Orthodontics

  1. How to Keep Braces Clean
    03
    Sep

    How to Keep Braces Clean

    Keeping your mouth clean is important for everyone, but if you’re wearing braces, it’s essential. Braces can trap food and cause more plaque to build up than usual since they make it harder for your toothbrush to access the teeth. Taking proper care of your teeth and gums during orthodontic treatment is vital to avoid problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Here’s how to do it properly.

    Cleaning

    • As soon as braces are fitted, purchase the relevant specialist orthodontic products, such as an orthodontic toothbrush, anti-septic mouthwash, orthodontic toothpaste and dental wax, which protects gums against rubbing caused by braces. For removal braces, aligners and retainers cleaning tablets are also a must.
    • Make sure that teeth are brushed four times daily using a soft, rounded-bristle manual or electric toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, especially after every meal.
      Take extra care to clean your gums, too.
    • Fixed braces require extra care. Brackets, bands and archwires create highly effective hiding places for plaque that are very tricky to reach, so cleaning can take much longer. A single tufted interspace brush is especially useful for targeted cleaning around the brackets and along the gum line.
    • If you don’t maintain a high level of oral hygiene you may find that your orthodontist decides to remove your brace altogether!

    Prevention

    • Don’t forget to floss! Floss should be positioned under the main wire before it’s placed between the teeth. Every day, floss around brackets and at the gum line. Proxysoft Bridge & Implant floss has a toughened end making it ideal for threading between the gum and wire, alternatively it may be worth considering a water flosser.
    • Be kind to your teeth and help prevent a build-up of plaque. Avoid sweets and fizzy drinks and stick to more tooth-friendly drinks
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  2. Braces – What are the options?
    18
    Aug

    Braces – What are the options?

    Forget ‘metal mouth’ – things have moved on...

    Remember those scary-looking ‘train track’ fixed braces that children used to wear? Who can forget those poor souls who were nicknamed 'Metal Mickey' (ask your Mum) and ‘Metal Mouth’ at school? Or those annoying bits of food that used to collect between the wires? They weren’t much fun, the braces of yesteryear.

    Happily, the orthodontic hardware of today is smaller, lighter and much tougher. Forget Jaws from the Bond films - braces have got a lot more appealing, for adults as well as children. Even the Hollywood set has jumped on the bandwagon, including the likes of Cameron Diaz and Gwen Stefani.  And it’s a trend that’s taking off over here, too. According to the British Orthodontic Society, adults account for around a half of the patients in some British orthodontist practices, and many of them are opting for fixed braces.

    Fixed brace options
    Generally, there are three main types of fixed brace available today:

    1. Brackets

    Made either of stainless steel, or clear or tooth-coloured ceramic or plastic, brackets are bonded to the front of each tooth. You can even get brightly coloured elastics to hold the wire in position if you want to spice up your look. There’s no need to look like Ugly Betty, unless you really want to.

    1. ‘Invisible’ lingual brackets

    These attach to the back of the teeth, cleverly hiding them from view. It’s still a fixed brace, though, and so it allows for full control of tooth movement. They’re especially popular with actors.

    1. Self-ligating braces

    Self-ligating braces can hold the wire in place without elastic, so right from the start it lets the teeth move

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  3. 5 irritating things to expect from your fixed braces
    10
    Aug

    5 irritating things to expect from your fixed braces

    Some people would say vanity is a sin, and sins don't come without something to make you wish you hadn't veered from the path of righteousness. Whether you're having braces fitted for cosmetic reasons or because your bite's awkward, you're likely to experience some issues. Everyone experiences orthodontic treatment differently. Some people have naturally mobile teeth, or a higher pain threshold, but let's highlight the main things you can expect from your fixed braces.

    1. Discomfort
    Yes, I'm afraid so! Most people will experience some discomfort in the first week or two. Like those awful dreams in which you take a wrong footing and your teeth fall out into the palm of your hand, your teeth may feel like they're being forced out of place – which, of course, they are! Try taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to help dull the sensation.

    2. Sores and ulcers
    Some people are more prone to mouth ulcers than others. You'll find that parts of your brace rub against your gums, tongue or cheek, especially when you speak. Use dental wax to help prevent rubbing and apply antibacterial gel, to treat any ulcerations that do develop. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (½ teaspoon per cup) a few times a day may also help.

    3. Broken bits and pieces
    Fixed braces are quite a complex piece of kit, with pressurised elastic loops, wires and brackets – all of which can, and do, break from time to time. This isn't a big problem but can mean extra trips to the orthodontist. To minimise damage, avoid hard or very sticky food and chewing gum. If you play sports, then it's a good idea to get a mouth guard to protect your braces.

    4. A longer bathroom routine
    When you have a brace, your oral hygiene becomes more important than ever. Plaque will form much more easily, so you'll need to brush your teeth after every meal. Flossing twice a day is vital,

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  4. Effective Oral Hygiene for Orthodontic Patients
    10
    Aug

    Effective Oral Hygiene for Orthodontic Patients

    Dr. Hemant Patel, Principal Orthodontist at Liverpool Brace Place, BDS, Mo. Orth, RCS (ed), M Orth RCS (Eng), MRCPS (Glas).

    Maintaining good oral hygiene is a particular challenge for patients with fixed orthodontic appliances. The presence of brackets, wires and bands make it particularly difficult to clean thoroughly and as a result it is common for plaque to accumulate on the buccal surface around the base of the bracket. Retained plaque represents a considerable clinical risk that demineralisation of the enamel will occur, resulting in white spot lesions. The development of gingivitis and hyperplastic gingival is also a well recognised problem during orthodontic treatment with fixed appliances. As an orthodontist who sees his patients once every 4-6 weeks I am unable to fully monitor patient’s oral hygiene on a daily basis, as such we go to great lengths to stress to all our patients the importance of maintaining a comprehensive daily oral care regime. This is a particular challenge for our teenagers patients, who generally achieve poor levels of compliance compared with our adult patients. For us the key components of an effective daily oral care regime are:

    Brushing

    Patients are advised to use a small headed, medium texture orthodontic toothbrush. These brushes have a V-shaped thread contour which allows for simultaneous cleaning of the tooth surface and brace work. Used in conjunction with a fluoride toothpaste, twice daily brushing significantly reduces plaque retention and inhibits demineralisation of the enamel. For most patients we do also recommend the use of single tufted interspace brushes, which are extremely useful, both for cleaning around the gum margin and the appliance itself.

    Interdental Cleaning

    In the presence of fixed appliances many patients find flossing to be difficult and time consuming, this again being particularly true for younger patients. For most

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  5. Teeth getting straighter but dirtier?
    19
    Jul

    Teeth getting straighter but dirtier?

    If you're undergoing teeth straightening treatment with fixed braces, you'll probably be paying closer attention to your teeth than you normally would. And while you might be pleased that your teeth are gradually getting straighter, you might also notice that they are also becoming less white and visibly dirtier. It's not your imagination, but it's not entirely your fault – cleaning your teeth does become much harder when you have a brace getting in the way.

    Here are our tips for preventing bacterial biofilm and plaque – the accumulation of which will not only make your teeth look dirty but can lead to gingivitis (inflamed, bleeding gums), decalcification and other forms of periodontal disease.

    1. Brush after every meal
    The network of wires and plastic in your braces will trap any small pieces of food and associated bacteria next to your teeth, so it's essential that you brush every time you've eaten, even if it's just a snack. Ideally, you'll be brushing for a few minutes, four times a day. Try using an interspace brush to clean areas that are more difficult to reach along with an orthodontic toothpaste that's more viscous than normal toothpaste.

    2. Consider investing in an electric toothbrush
    It can be hard to reach all the nooks and crannies in your fixed braces when brushing. If you are finding it tricky, then it might be worth buying an electric toothbrush. Recommended by many dentists for everyone – not just those with braces – many of these toothbrushes not only offer a timer to ensure you're brushing for long enough, they twist and rotate automatically to give an effective clean. Some electric toothbrushes even come with attachments specifically designed for use with braces.

    3. Be proactive against plaque
    As an aid to brushing and cleaning, many brace wearers find disclosing tablets or solutions useful. Such formulas colour regions

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