Successful orthodontic treatment can be life-changing. In addition to the straight teeth you will obtain, braces can give you a better smile, facial structure, and oral health. However, the road to treating malocclusions does have some guidelines to follow, which may derail your treatment plan if you do not follow them. In order for you to get that perfect set of teeth, you will need to avoid these six mistakes that are common during orthodontic treatment.
1. Not Getting Braces from an Orthodontist
While it may sound convenient at first, starting orthodontic treatment with a dental provider who is not a certified orthodontist may not be a wise decision in the long run. General dentists receive less education than orthodontists on the proper practices to achieve straight teeth. Orthodontists must attend a two-year residency program on top of their four years in dental school. Some orthodontists are also board-certified, which means they have completed even more hours of training after their orthodontic residency. Needless to say, orthodontists will have the right skills and expertise to advise on the best treatment option for your misaligned teeth.
2. Thinking Braces are Only for Children
Braces treatments are ideal for all age groups. The American Association for Orthodontists estimates there are over 4 million Americans wearing braces today. However, the board also recommends early orthodontic treatment suggesting the first orthodontic treatment at the age of seven. At this age, your orthodontist can inspect the teeth confidently for any misalignment or bad bites. However, even if you are already past your teenage years it is not too late to straighten your teeth. In fact, 25% of Americans wearing braces are adults.
3. Forgetting to Practice Proper Oral Hygiene
Orthodontic braces demand a higher level of dental care and hygiene throughout the treatment process. Food particles may stick in between the brackets and teeth, leading to plaque and tartar buildup.
Poor oral health care can also lead to teeth discoloration, halitosis, or worse gum disease. Always adhere to strict dental hygiene by brushing with a soft interdental toothbrush after every meal. Remember to floss at least once every day.
4. Eating “Forbidden” Foods
Your orthodontist will probably give you a list of foods that you need to avoid during the treatment period. Hard and sticky foods require more biting force while chewing and may get stuck in your brackets. It is important to follow the food guidelines provided by your doctor.
You can also opt for Invisalign aligners. These allow you to remove them while eating your favorite meals and place them back when you finish.
5. Skipping Orthodontic Appointments
You will have to make regular trips to the orthodontist office for your follow-up appointments. These check-ups allow the orthodontists to monitor your progress and adjust the braces accordingly. You also get the opportunity to ask any questions about your treatment plan and if needed replace any broken parts.
6. Restricting Yourself to Metal Braces
Traditional metal brackets and wires are effective but require a certain level of care. It is important to keep a higher standard of oral hygiene during this time. However, advances in technology within the orthodontic sphere have led to the development of other alternatives such as Invisalign. The aligners are more subtle and comfortable while being just as efficient as metal braces. It may be a worthwhile option to consider if you are concerned about the maintenance associated with braces.
Braces and aligners can help you attain straight teeth. Avoiding the six mistakes above to fasten your teeth realignment process and avoid any issues during treatment. For more information on braces, feel free to consult Parker Orthodontics.