Patients have several options when it comes to braces. Dentists often recommend specific kinds depending on a person's individual need, but many have options. Traditional wire braces are still quite common. Ceramic braces are now available that have white or clear brackets and flexible wire that is self-adjusting. For patients who only need minor adjustments, there is also the Invisalign® tray system that works extremely well without having anything attached directly to the teeth. Dentists have several different orthodontic tools at their disposal to help patients achieve the look they want.
Most dentists and orthodontists recommend children get braces between 10 and 14 years of age. This allows time for the permanent teeth to appear, but also starts the process early enough to make necessary changes before the final wisdom teeth begin to make an appearance. Putting a child in braces too early can defeat the process, especially if not all of the permanent teeth are in place. Putting braces on baby teeth serves no real purpose because they eventually fall out. Waiting until all of the permanent teeth are present means that whatever is adjustments are made will be long lasting and unaffected by the addition of new teeth.
Braces that are secured firmly to the teeth need to be carefully cleaned every day. Foods that are sticky and extremely sweet can become easily lodged within the delicate workings of the braces, making them difficult to clean. It also increases the person's risk of tooth decay. Foods that are extremely hard, like apples, hard candies, pretzels, and beef jerky can actually damage the braces. Avoiding these types of foods will help to keep the braces in place and prevent an unhealthy environment from developing. Many dentists recommend rinsing the mouth with an ADA approved mouthwash after every meal to help dislodge food particles that can be stuck in the braces.
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