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Braces

What are braces made from?

Braces (also called orthodontic appliances) can be as inconspicuous—or as noticeable—as you like. Brackets , the small metal piece that is attached to each tooth, may be made of metal, ceramic, plastic or a combination of these materials. Some brackets are clear or tooth-colored. Elastics (orthodontic rubber bands) come in a wide variety of colours. Some people enjoy matching their elastics to their fashion or the time of year.

Are braces removable?

There are two types of orthodontic appliances: fixed, which are worn all the time and can only be removed by the dentist, and removable, like Invisalign, which the patient can take out of the mouth. Here at Blackburn Shoppes Dental Centre we offer both options, while you and the dentist determine the best type for you based on your needs.

What is the “right age” to begin orthodontic treatment?

Malocclusions often become noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12, as the child’s permanent (adult) teeth erupt. Orthodontic treatment often begins between ages 8 and 14. Treatment that begins while a child is growing helps produce optimal results. As a result, children should have an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7. By then, they have a mix of primary (baby) teeth and their permanent (adult) teeth. Your Ottawa family dentist can spot problems with emerging teeth and jaw growth early on, while the primary teeth are present. That’s why regular dental examinations are important.

How about adults wearing braces?

Children aren’t the only ones who can benefit from orthodontics. If you’re an adult, it’s not too late to correct problems such as crooked or crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw position, or jaw-joint disorders. The biological process involved in moving teeth is the same at any age. Usually, adult treatment takes a little longer than a child’s treatment. Because an adult’s facial bones are no longer growing, certain corrections may not be accomplished with braces alone. No matter your age, it’s never too late to improve your dental health and beautify your smile.

Who provides orthodontic treatment?

Most dentists are trained to treat some minor orthodontic problems. If the dentist thinks the patient should see a specialist for treatment, he or she will provide a referral to an orthodontist. Orthodontics is a specialty area of dentistry.

Although treatment plans are customized for each patient, most wear their braces from one to three years, depending on what conditions need correcting. This is followed by a period of wearing a “retainer” that holds teeth in their new positions. Although a little discomfort is expected during treatment, today’s braces are more comfortable than ever before. Newer materials apply a constant, gentle force to move teeth and usually require fewer adjustments.

Good oral hygiene is especially important when braces are present. Brushing regularly, as directed by the dentist, flossing daily and scheduling dental visits can help keep teeth healthy.

Patients with braces should maintain a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. Your Ottawa family dentist may recommend avoiding certain foods that could interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires. These foods may include nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice and sticky foods like chewing gum, caramel or other chewy candy.