The Components in Braces: More From an Orthodontist in St. Peters

Posted on: June 1, 2015

orthodontist-in-st-petersAs an orthodontist in St Peters, we can help you care for your braces during your straightening treatment. When you first get braces, it is a brand new experience and learning how to care for your teeth properly can be a challenge. Before you learn the basics of caring for your teeth, you should know about the complex and fragile components that go into your braces. While you are caring for your braces and teeth, you should take extra precautions to ensure that you don’t damage your braces, which could result in a longer treatment time or extra expenses.

Your braces are made up of many elements. Each element works together to gently move your teeth into a more desired placement. Your braces are anchored to your teeth by brackets. Brackets are small, metal pieces that are cemented to each of your teeth by a dental glue. These brackets can also be made of a tooth-colored ceramic as desired and if available. The archwire is a very thin piece of metal that runs through all of your brackets to create a carefully quantified amount of pressure to force your teeth to move. These essential components are held together by elastic ligatures and in place by orthodontic bands attached to your posterior teeth. Your braces and these parts can be moved by other small appliances, for example, headgear. As an orthodontist in St Peters, we can discuss this with you in further detail.

Now that you know all of the small components that create your braces and the skill it takes to move your teeth, you can see how easily pieces of your braces can be bent, warped, or misplaced. This is why it is so important to brush and floss your teeth with care. It is also important to never try to adjust your braces yourself. This can be tempting when you feel the slight pressure that occurs in the first few days following an adjustment by someone in our office. Keep in mind that oral painkillers can help ease the discomfort that is caused by pressure, and feel free to schedule an appointment with us if the discomfort level seems unusual.  

Be sure to continue to brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes. Do so in a firm, circular motion, but try not to press too hard on your braces. You should also floss every day. You can thread your floss between each tooth under the wire of your braces to reach every angle of your tooth. You can also use dental picks to help with hard to reach areas. When you floss, try not to put too much pressure on your archwire and don’t let the floss get caught on your brackets. You can use fluoride mouthwash as finishing touch following a thorough clean.

Remember to avoid hard and sticky foods like gum, taffy, caramels, corn, popcorn, and nuts. These can damage your braces and get lodged in your teeth.

If you ever accidentally damage your braces during your treatment, don’t hesitate to call our office for help. As an orthodontist in St Peters, we want to keep your straightening process as smooth as possible.