According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 4,800,000 of Americans are wearing dental braces, and 18 percent of them are under the age of 18. The data is from 2008, and starting from 1982 to 2008, there is a 99 percent increase among teens wearing braces, and from 1989 to 2008, a 24 percent increase in adult patients. Consequently, the number of people that have braces is much more now. Causes to wear orthodontic braces vary from crowded teeth to incorrect jaw position. Prior to going into details such as reasons for wearing braces, types, or how to brush the braces, it is better, to begin with, historical background information.
The History of Braces
The chronicle of braces originates back to 400-300 BC, when Aristotle and Hippocrates examined the ideas to align teeth for resolving dental issues. During the archaeological excavations, archaeologists found bodies that were wearing some metal wires around their teeth. Also, few civilizations used metal applications to prevent collapse and movement in the teeth of dead people.
However, the orthodoxy that is close to as of now appeared in 18th and 19th centuries. Pierre Fauchard, a French dentist, was the one who designed modern orthodontics, in 1728 published a book “The Surgeon Dentist” about ways of straightening teeth. He invented the tool “Bandeau,” a piece of iron in a horseshoe shape, which widened the roof of the mouth.
Image source: Is there one best orthodontic appliance?
Why wear braces?
While it seems that people wear dental braces only for aesthetic purposes, it is pretty much misunderstanding. Considering the argumentation has more deep roots, which go into; fixing gap between teeth, cure underbites or overbites, straighten crooked teeth and shape the teeth and jaws. All of these might interrupt daily activities by causing earaches, headaches, chewing, and biting issues.
Types of Braces
In the 21st century, consumers have loads of alternatives when it comes to wearing dental braces:
It is the most common type of braces and the most available one in cost. There is a metal bracket that is connected to the teeth and the bendable metal wire wired through the brackets to create pressure to the teeth and eventually move them.
The metal braces are made of stainless steel, while some parts can be from nickel, copper, molybdenum, and titanium. On top of that, for those who prefer to display their personality, they can personalize the braces by choosing preferred band colors. Still, it is very noticeable, because its from metal.
Per the advice of the orthodontist, the patients cannot consume some food, and the process may be very harmful based on the pain tolerance level of a person.
These braces are from the material as the metal braces, but the advantage of it is that it is hidden as they are adjusted from the back side of the teeth. However, they are not comfortable both for cleaning and for speaking as they affect pronunciation and cause trouble. Also, it is more expensive and takes a longer time compared to the regular braces.
Medication process with this type of braces is shorter and less painful. The braces come in different materials; metal, ceramic, clear (made from porcelain and plastic.) Self-ligating braces use a specific clip instead of elastics that support the archwire to direct teeth into their right place. However, they might not work with everyone.
Here the material is ceramic and it has color and the texture of a person's teeth. As a result, ceramic braces are less visible, which makes them more desirable for users.
Along with that, it works with a similar method as the metal braces, which is very productive. Though, it has flaws, as well; these braces have the same hardships as the metal braces, with more price. Moreover, they are easily stained if the patient is not maintaining good hygiene habits for braces.
As the name suggests, they are hard to see. Additionally, Invisalign braces are removable, which makes tooth brushing more accessible. Those who wear metal braces are acquainted with swollen cheeks and pain.
Considering the fact that Invisalign braces are manufactured from flexible polypropylene plastic, they do not create an unpleasant feeling in the mouth. However, these types of braces can not cure critical cases as they are mainly for aesthetic purposes and they are quite expensive than the traditional ones.
Taking care of your oral hygiene
Once you have braces, an essential part of is sustaining excellent oral hygiene habits unless you want difficulties in the form of spots or plaque. As a result of metal structures, the food gets stuck between the teeth; that is why it is better to brush your teeth after every food consumption.
The brushing process begins with rinsing your mouth with water so that food particles get away and do not collect around the braces. Also, if you are lazy enough not to brush your teeth thousands of times a day that you can at least do this first step.
- In the second stage start to brush, it is better to hold the toothbrush in 45-degree angle regarding your gum line, making circular motions. In the next step put the toothbrush on the top of the braces and brush towards down. Change the positions to clean each of the braces individually. Also, do not forget to brush upper and lower parts between your gum line and braces.
- Nextly, start flossing, both between the teeth and the metal wire.
- Also, there are proxy brushes specialized for braces; they are thinner and diligently clean each bracket from all sides.
- For a whole view of all the process, watch this video
Apart from these, you can ask your dentist to do a hydro cleaning, and as for your part, it would be better to watch out what you eat to decrease the chances of plaque gathering. Furthermore, you can use an electric toothbrush which makes wearing brace much easier.
As electric toothbrushes rotate with more movements, hence more efficiency. Also, electric toothbrushes have specified bristles for those who wear braces. Brushette presents a variety of bristles that will suit your gums and teeth. You can consider looking into Bracette that is specialized in orthodontic care and has soft ultra bristles that will not miss any spot of your braces.
Oral-B electric toothbrush replacement heads: Flossette and Bracette