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Orthodontic Tips to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

by Sharon Williams(more info)

listed in dentistry, originally published in issue 247 - July 2018

Orthodontic problems can have a negative effect on your oral health if left alone which makes it all the more important for you to identify the early symptoms of orthodontic problems and consult an orthodontist as soon as possible to determine if any action needs to be taken, particularly for children. Severe tooth decay, gum disease and demineralization can occur without any timely interference and orthodontic treatment.

What does Orthodontic Treatment Involve

Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry which focuses on aligning your facial and jaw irregularities. Properly aligning your teeth and jaw leads to more coherent speech along with better biting and chewing ability.

An orthodontist will examine your teeth, take x-rays and take an impression of them to get a better idea of the position of your teeth after which he/she will suggest a treatment. The treatment will involve braces which your orthodontist will help you choose from the following types of braces: Lingual braces, ceramic braces, self-ligating braces, Invisalign braces and traditional metal braces.

Treatment times tend to differ from individual to individual according to their personal cases though.


Williams 247 Orthodontic Tips


Please review these 7 signs to find out whether you need braces or not:

1. Overbite

Do your lower teeth completely disappear with your bite or touch the roof of your mouth? If yes then you may be suffering from a rather pronounced overbite.

But regardless of your age, your smile can be improved at any age by fixing your overbite. But it is much easier to fix overbites in children as their jaws are malleable and still growing. An overbite can cause the following problems in your mouth:

  • Increased risk of trauma to your front teeth;
  • Increased chances of fracturing your front teeth due to injury;
  • Reduced lifespan of any dental restorative work that you may have already undergone.

2. Underbite

Do your lower teeth overlap over the top of your front teeth? If yes, then you should consult your orthodontist about this as underbites can be particularly harmful while talking or eating which can increase your chances of oral injury. Underbites are usually linked with disproportionate jaw size and can lead to the following problems:

  • Disproportionate facial appearance;
  • Increased facial ageing;
  • Struggle with biting and chewing.

3. Crossbite

This is an abnormal bite whereby the upper tooth is behind the lower opposing tooth. Crossbites can lead to:

  • Excessive wearing down and fracturing of both teeth involved;
  • Increased gum recession of the affected teeth;
  • You will be unable to restore your fractured or worn out teeth;
  • Disproportionate growth of your jaws.

4. Openbite

Do you see defined gap between your lower and upper teeth when you smile into your mirror? If yes, then the chances are that you may have an open bite. Patients who suffer from openbites usually tend to have difficulty in speaking and eating properly. They may also tend to have bad habits like tongue thrusting. Openbites can be corrected with orthodontic treatment such as invisible braces.

5. Spacing

Having irregular spaces between your teeth may be caused by missing teeth or the simple fact that your teeth are naturally smaller in proportion to your mouth. Closing the gaps between your teeth is a lot more than just an aesthetic problem as it also helps in protecting your oral health. Having large spaces between your teeth can make it easier for food particles to get stuck between your teeth and collect on your gums which in turn can lead to cavities and bad breath.

6. Crowding

Crowding is usually the most common reason to seek out orthodontic treatment, particularly for children. Crowding signifies that there is not enough space in your mouth for all your teeth. This lack of space to grow causes the teeth to cramp and crowd each other which can lead to teeth becoming crooked and misaligned. The unfortunate truth is that crowding usually tends to worsen over time and can make it even more difficult to brush and floss over time. Severe cases of crowding can make it virtually impossible for you to clean certain parts of your teeth which can lead to bad odour, tooth decay, gum disease and bone loss around your teeth.

7. Misaligned Teeth

Teeth can become crooked due to either environmental or heredity factors which can throw your teeth out of alignment and create bite problems. Heredity factors involve crowded teeth where there is a lot of space and malocclusions. It has also been discovered that tongue thrusting, thumb sucking and other accidents can all affect the jaw.

The Importance of Braces and Why You Should Brush Your Teeth Religiously

Looking after your teeth and gums becomes a lot more important when you are thinking of getting braces. Caring for your braces requires that you should take the extra precautionary measures of routine brushing and flossing.

Brush after every meal as food particles are more likely to get trapped between your braces and teeth which encourages a buildup of plaque. Gently flossing after meals also helps in removing food particles that are stuck between your teeth and in between the braces and brackets.

Lack of proper oral cleanings can cause swollen or infected gums, cavities or discoloured teeth. So make a commitment to look after your teeth daily from now onwards!

Here are 5 Orthodontic Tips For Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

1. Brush Your Teeth and Braces Daily

Not brushing your teeth on a daily basis can lead to food particles getting stuck between your teeth and plaque forming on your teeth. Not brushing or flossing regularly and properly allows gingivitis to form within 48 hours. The American Dental Association advises that you should brush after each meal and prior to going to bed. This is how you can brush your teeth properly while having braces:

  • Rinse your mouth with water to loosen up the stuck food particles;
  • Rinse your tooth brush in hot water to clear food debris;
  • Brush your toothbrush from a 45 degree angle to your gums;
  • Brush between the wiring, brackets and teeth and all the other surfaces;
  • Scrub your tongue with the tongue scrubber to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

Swish your mouth with water to wash away any stuck food particles if you can’t brush after a meal.

2. Floss Your Teeth Daily

Flossing when you have braces is almost the same as flossing when you don’t; the only difference is that you need to thread the floss below the archwire and between your teeth. This is how it’s done:

  • Work the floss under the archwire;
  • Remove the threader;
  • Floss all the sides of your teeth;
  • Do this for all your teeth.

3. Avoid Whitening Products

Don’t use whitening products like whitening mouthwash and toothpaste when you have braces as it only works on the areas it touches, which will create an imbalanced color when your braces come off.

4. Use a Soft Bristled Toothbrush

Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent any damage to your teeth and gums. Use a soft toothbrush to clean below the braces and under the wires, particularly if they’re braces for kids.

5. Schedule Professional Check-Ups and Cleanings

It is vital that you practise proper oral care and cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy and avoid any further oral problems, particularly when you have braces.

Wearing braces means that you need to take better care of your mouth so that the end result is truly worth all your effort when your braces come off and you attain your new and improved smile. If you have children then it is all the more important for you to set an example for your children and practice proper oral care and cleanings with the above 5 orthodontic tips.


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About Sharon Williams

Sharon William's day job is to handle digital marketing for Koch Orthodontics in Loganville, GA. With a flair for creating compelling content that clears the clutter and connects with the audience in an instant, she writes about dental topics to educate and help her readers. She truly believes that a genuine smile can win a million hearts and talks to her readers about improving their smiles and overall dental health, as well as enhancing their overall lifestyle. In her free time, she likes to organize small meets in her neighbourhood where she brings people together to discuss various topics that she writes about. She may be contacted via

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