What are Braces?
In short, braces are a fixed orthodontic appliance that gradually aligns and straightens teeth through the gradual application of gentle pressure. Traditionally consisting of smaller modern brackets that are glued to a patient’s teeth, an archwire, and elastics to hold the wire in place, contemporary braces can vary in both material and appearance.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces, the most common type of braces, are still used by orthodontists today precisely because they remain effective. Modern braces are both smaller and more comfortable than their antecedents. Moreover, metal braces allow for a unique and expressive smile during treatment through colored elastics around the brackets.
Clear (Ceramic) Braces
For patients with cosmetic concerns, ceramic braces made of clear materials are less visible than traditional metal braces; they are seemingly camouflaged within one’s teeth. Despite consisting of the same parts as traditional braces, ceramic braces require more maintenance as the material is more brittle than that of traditional braces. Additionally, the clear elastics – or ligatures – used on the brackets can become discolored if you drink a lot of tea, red wine or coffee, or if you smoke. Dr. AlJanabi and his professional staff can recommend ways to keep your clear braces looking as bright and shiny as possible. Furthermore, the clear elastics are changed at every monthly fitting, so if they do become stained, it’s only a temporary problem.
Lingual braces are a cosmetic alternative to traditional braces as custom brackets are bonded to the backs of one’s teeth, rendering them, essentially, invisible. Like traditional braces, lingual braces work by applying gentle pressure to move the teeth into more proper positions.
Clear aligners, an alternative to braces, are a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth. Made of a plastic material, clear aligners ought to be worn twenty hours a day for maximum efficacy. Not only are the aligners inconspicuous, they are also removable; therefore they do not interfere with normal dietary habits. Additionally, brushing and flossing are less difficult in comparison to patients who undergo treatment with braces. Furthermore, unlike braces, clear aligners are more comfortable and therefore less likely to irritate the mouth and gums.
Common Concerns about Braces
Mouth soreness is the most common issue that patients with new braces confront. Getting braces in Brooklyn NY and other orthodontic appliances cause initial soreness because they are not only new to the mouth, but also because they apply pressure to the teeth. However, this pain is a normal part of the treatment process and will subside as patients become accustomed to the their new life with braces.
Dr. Aljanabi and the staff at Brooklyn Orthodontics offer some tips to manage the pain:
One can alleviate the pain by dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water and then gargling this mixture for a couple of minutes. However, if the discomfort continues, you may take pain reliever medications, such as Aspirin, Tylenol, or Advil.
While lip, cheek and tongue red ulcers may also appear, especially within the first two weeks, we will gladly give you some wax to apply on your brackets in order to lessen the friction between your oral tissues and brace brackets.
What to Eat
For the first few days, we advise soft, yet non-sticky food. Remember that its very important we to maintain the cleanliness of your braces and some foods can make that quite difficult. In addition to causing discomfort, especially during the first few days of new braces, some foods also interfere with the strength and durability of the brackets, which can lead to extended treatment time. While there can be some food choice sacrifices at first our team at Brooklyn Orthodontics will help you adapt.
The following is a basic list of some of the food to AVOID with braces:
● Chewy and Sticky foods — bagels, licorice, caramel candies, chewing gum
● Crunchy and Hard foods — popcorn, chips, ice, nuts, hard candies
● Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
For precaution, here are some foods you CAN eat after getting braces in Brooklyn NY:
● Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
● Soft Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o nuts
● Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
● Meats/Poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
● Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
● Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
● Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice, fruits sliced into small pieces
● Treats — ice cream w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Temporary Tooth Loosening
It is typical that your teeth may feel mobile during the first few days of braces as braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth are repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
The secret to successful orthodontic treatment is faithful patient compliance; braces can be difficult to uphold without proper maintenance. Damaged appliances can significantly lengthen treatment time. At Brooklyn Orthodontics, we are more than happy to teach you how to clean both your teeth and braces; we can assist you in choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss.
Taking Care of Your Braces in Brooklyn NY
There may be some instances in which your bands, wires, or brackets become wobbly or loose. If you notice a loose wire, you may gently push the wire to its position with the eraser
end of a pencil.
Put some wax or a moist cotton ball on that wire to prevent any sores. This can temporarily fix the problem. Ideally, if this emergency arises, you can always call us to have
your bands or wires reattached like new. Make sure that you bring the part of the appliance that went off as well.
If you love playing sports here in Brooklyn, NY, accidents may take place. Mouth guards perfectly made for you can be your best protection. Dr. AlJanabi will make it accustomed to your teeth and gums. Even if you are under orthodontic treatment, you can still enjoy your favorite sports with mouth guards.
Regular Orthodontic Consultations
Orthodontic visits and consultations do not stop after the fitting of the braces. Regular check-ups are necessary to monitor the status of your teeth, teeth movement and gums.