Orthodontic treatment can be beneficial to patients of all ages, whether they require minor or extensive correction. Depending on clinical need and patient preference for treatment, either a fixed appliance (a brace) may be used, or a removable appliance (an aligner) may be most suitable.
Elmsleigh House Dental Clinic in Farnham offers treatment from an in-house orthodontist to patients of all ages, whether they require minor cosmetic adjustments or a more major procedure to treat issues affecting the bite (the way that the jaws meet each other).
Whatever you age and whichever appliance you use, the importance of good dental hygiene during treatment should never be underestimated. Teenagers often have treatment with metal braces, and need to take special care of their teeth as they start to prepare more of their own meals and buy their own snacks and drinks.
Any type of fixed appliance requires special cleaning techniques. The dental hygienist will advise you how best to clean around your braces, including using any special equipment such as interdental brushes or floss threaders.
With a fixed brace, you should clean your teeth after every meal, although it’s best to wait an hour after eating or drinking so that sugars and acids aren’t brushed into your teeth. You need to ensure that you remove any food particles trapped under the wires of your braces, because plaque bacteria can easily build up otherwise.
As well as ensuring you have an efficient oral hygiene routine with fixed braces, you also need to watch what you eat. Many foods such as crusty bread and raw carrots can damage your braces. If you boil your vegetables well and take care with stringy foods such as green beans, cutting them into smaller pieces, you should avoid the risk of damage.
Sticky and sugary foods – caramel or toffee, for example – should be avoided because these can get stuck to your braces and be difficult to remove.
You don’t need any special hygiene techniques with clear aligners, because you take them out for cleaning and to eat and drink. However, you do need to clean your aligner and your teeth at least twice a day.