Revere Invisalign® as we may, the reality is that there is no real substitute for traditional braces. Invisalign®’s limitations include that they are easily lost and must be worn in a smile that has already erupted all of its adult teeth. Other limitations include that Invisalign® does not have the capability to correct a severe malocclusion. Traditional braces represent the best option for treating cases of complex misalignment.
Traditional braces can treat a range of bite classifications and can be used in preparation of erupting teeth. Their own limitations, however, include that they take a little more effort to clean and maintain… and they don’t offer the near-invisible profile of a clear aligner. Still, progress is being made in limiting the surface area of the traditional wire and bracket structure.
We are proud to offer SPEED Braces®! SPEED Braces® are revolutionizing the look of traditional metal braces with their bracket system that eliminates the use of elastic bands around them. Patients don’t need to add any unnecessary bulk to the look of their braces, making SPEED Braces® 1/3 smaller than their counterparts.
How Can SPEED Braces® be Elastic-Free?
SPEED Braces® is what is known as self-ligating braces. Self-ligating braces do not require elastic or metal ties, but they use a movable component to secure the arch wire to the bracket. SPEED® uses a super-elastic clip called a “spring clip” to attach the bracket to the wire. The spring clip is a device which stores energy and can be programmed to exert a particular force on your tooth.
Like regular braces, SPEED Braces® rely on their ability to exert a continuous force against the teeth, moving the teeth into alignment slowly, over time. Thanks to our jaw’s ability to remineralize, the movement is supported by the jaw as it reconstitutes the socket.
Caring for Your Braces
Step 1: How to Clean
Since braces will increase the total surface area in your mouth that you’ve got to clean, it will be important to allocate a few extra minutes to clean your teeth at the beginning and the end of the day. It will be important to brush around your archwire by placing the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and cleaning a section from side to side before going on to change the angle to the opposite angle in the other direction.
Many people find the use of a proxy brush helpful to get around the small brackets and behind the arch wire of the braces. In order to floss your teeth, you will need to thread the floss behind the archwire before moving the floss between your teeth. If you find threading the floss behind the archwire difficult, you may consider using a floss threader which is available at your local drug store.
Step 2: How to Eat with Braces
You’ll find eating with braces a little different, since eating hard foods can risk breaking the brackets away from your teeth. Many foods that need to be bitten into, like corn on the cob or apples, can still be enjoyed if they are cut into bite-sized pieces. Snacks like chips and popcorn should be avoided, since crunching down on them, too, can put your brackets at risk. Chewy candies, like gummies, must be abstained from during treatment with braces, since it is difficult to eat these safely. (Die-hard snackers will suck these candies quickly and follow by tooth brushing).
Buns and loaves should be cut into bite-sized mouthfuls, but carbs and candy should be limited. Since increased surface area in the mouth means more places for germs to hide, avoiding sweets and starches limits the ability of plaque bacteria to develop. Brushing the teeth after each meal further limits the risk of plaque and decay by removing food debris from the mouth.
Step 3: Seeing your Dentist
If you decide to commit to braces, you must also commit to seeing your dentist regularly for assessments and adjustments. The effectiveness of braces is based on a predictable maintenance routine that moves teeth toward their ideal placement slowly but efficiently. Delays in adjustments and any delay in performing required maintenance, such as repairing a detached bracket, can make a significant difference in the treatment period.
With good care and maintenance of your braces and excellent oral hygiene throughout treatment, you’ll have your new smile on display before you know it! For more information on this or any other services offered by our general dentists, call our clinic today.