Among the many different orthodontic options available for teens and adults who want their teeth straightened, braces are the choice that comes readily to mind. Even after the advent of alternative methods for straightening teeth, countless patients still depend on braces to get the job done and they don't disappoint.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Stainless Steel Braces
There are many reasons to choose traditional braces over other orthodontic options. For one thing, they're more affordable than most other options such as clear aligners or clear braces. They also do a better job of treating overcrowding than alternative methods.
When straightening teeth using braces, we have more control over the small, precise alterations we make when we adjust them. Patients who use clear aligners need to wear them at least 22 hours a day, but braces patients don't need to worry about keeping track of this.
Braces do have downsides, however. The main one is likely their appearance and the self-consciousness they tend to cause in wearers. The good news is that wearing braces is more accepted now than in previous decades and they come with a variety of colors.
How to Care for your Braces
If we end up picking braces for you, you'll need to make a few lifestyle changes to care for them the right way.
Brushing and Flossing
You must remember to practice proper dental hygiene, braces, or no braces. If you brush twice a day and floss once a day, your braces will have a pleasant appearance and you will prevent your teeth from staining. We will show you how to brush and floss with your braces. We may also provide you with floss threaders or special brushes so you can better access the more secluded spots.
Avoid Certain Foods
Chewy foods like soft candy, caramel, and gum, along with hard or crunchy foods, are off-limits if you have braces. The same goes for popcorn and corn-on-the-cob. Certain types of fruits and vegetables can get stuck in your braces, so either avoid these foods or cut them up into small pieces. If you follow these guidelines, you can avoid cavities and preserve your braces for the duration of the treatment period.
You will need to come in for regular orthodontic appointments so we can see how well your braces are working and to make the necessary adjustments. These adjustments are minor, but they are crucial in getting your teeth closer to the intended positions. You can also ask any questions or raise any concerns during these appointments.
You'll have your braces for quite a while, so make sure you follow the instructions you are given. If you don't, you may have to add more time and money to the treatment process.
If you're unsure which orthodontic treatment is the right choice for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. James, and they'll help you choose. It's worth noting that while brackets and wires don't feel comfortable, the end result does.
For more information, please contact our office at 215-800-0015.