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Orthodontics – Braces

Orthodontic treatments prevent the occurrence of disorders involving the tooth-jaw-face area as well as stop and treat the progression of existing disorders; however, it is also a specialty that aims to provide good aesthetics and function (biting, chewing, speaking, laughing).

The crowding of teeth is due to lack of space; the chin can be broadened to accommodate teeth, teeth can be brought forward or a tooth can be removed. Your dentist will decide which method is appropriate for you. Braces are attached to the teeth and memory wires are passed through them for treatment purposes. Depending on the necessity of treatment, screws, jaw expanders, springs, rubber, etc. may be used. Sometimes it may be necessary to use extraoral devices or elastic bands that connect the lower and upper jaws, which must be inserted and removed by the patient. Compliance with instructions on their use is crucial to the success of treatment.

The application itself is not painful, however some discomfort may be caused by both the irritation in the mucosa of the inner cheeks as well as with the movement of the teeth. This discomfort which persists for a week gradually decreases after the first day. If the orthodontic treatment is only to be applied by attaching a bracket to the front teeth this will not affect speech. However, if an apparatus is applied to the palate for example for chin expansion, speech may be affected during the first few days.

The best age for orthodontic treatment varies from person to person. If there is no problem with the development of the jaws and the teeth have not been exposed to trauma which causes problems with closing, the most appropriate age is during adolescence when permanent teeth continue to develop. During this period, tooth movement will be faster and the child will accept the braces more enthusiastically. However, dental problems can be corrected at any age. However, treatment planning may change according to age. In some cases growth can be directed during puberty if the patient has skeletal jaw disorders (the jaw may be too protruding or receding). However, if it is advanced, it is thought that it will progress with age or if the patient is adult, it can be corrected with a surgical procedure under general anesthesia after 18 years of age in hospital conditions.

There are many factors which affect the duration of orthodontic treatments. Although the type, severity of the orthodontic problem, age of the patient, length of the tooth roots, hardness of the bone cannot be changed, timely arrival of the patient to the appointments, attention to nutrition and oral hygiene, proper use of the given apparatus and elastic are among important factors affecting this duration.

During orthodontic treatment, patients may experience some problems. Metal and rubber devices in the teeth may cause temporary eating-speaking-swallowing difficulties. Lip and cheek and tongue sores may occur. Oral care may be difficult. Occasionally, undesirable events such as the breaking of the braces or broken wires may incur. In order to overcome these difficulties easily, the dentist’s instructions must be followed.

Closure disorders may cause joint problems.

Teeth should be examined before treatment, decayed teeth should be treated, if any. Orthodontic treatment does not cause staining or caries as long as oral hygiene is maintained. However, since the wires increase the food retention, more attention should be paid to brushing. Food residues accumulate between the braces and the area between the gums and the braces causing caries, permanent white spots, and gingivitis as well as bad breath in teeth that are not brushed adequately.  Therefore, during treatment teeth should be brushed regularly after  main meals and snacks until all food residues in the top / bottom of the wires are removed. The use of orthodontic toothbrushes with shorter middle bristles after cleaning is recommended to remove residue from between the braces. Orthodontic brushes and interface brushes are sold in pharmacies (orthodontic and interface heads fitted to motorized toothbrushes are also available). Mouthwash can also be used after brushing.

Braces should be attached to the surface of the teeth so that they do not damage the teeth when they are removed after treatment. However, hard foods cause the braces to break off. Therefore, food should be consumed in small bites during treatment. You should take care not to break off anything with teeth and ensure that any pips have been removed before you consume food with pips. Acidic substances such as coke and fizzy beverages cause tooth decay and dissolve the adhesive causing the braces to break off. Therefore, their consumption is strongly discouraged. Tea, coffee and cigarettes do not harm the wires but they cause yellowing of the teeth and the elastic bands holding the wires and therefore look unattractive.

Wisdom teeth do not interfere with treatment, but if there is no room for these teeth, it is preferable to extract them with surgical methods before, during or after treatment.

Orthodontic treatment does not harm teeth as long as oral hygiene is maintained, however some patients may experience a shortening of the root of the tooth (root melting). Treatment can be terminated by the physician if there is a serious shortening.

At the end of each orthodontic treatment, the teeth tend to move and return to their initial position at the beginning of the treatment. Therefore, as soon as the active orthodontic treatment is finished, ‘reinforcement treatment’ which is the passive orthodontic treatment, should be initiated. In this treatment, either a wire is permanently adhered to the inside of the teeth or the patient can be fitted with a reinforcing device that he/she can put on and remove. Your dentist will decide which is right for you. Reinforcement treatment is at least as important as active treatment.