Orthodontics Belfast dentists
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that is concerned with the correction of improper bite and correction of teeth irregularity and function. This treatment is also carried out for aesthetic reasons in order to improve cosmetic appearance of patients' teeth and face.
What types of orthodontic treatments are offered by the Belfast dentists?
The Belfast dentist offers the following orthodontic treatments which depend on the extent of improper bite and the cosmetic improvement needed.
1. Dental Braces and Aligners – These are used to improve misalignment of teeth. These are also used alter the appearance of crowded, unusually spaced teeth, or crooked teeth.
- Orthodontic surgery –It is used to improve malocclusion or improper bite which may occur as a result of misaligned jaws. It is also known as orthognathic surgery or corrective jaw surgery
What are orthodontic braces or dental braces?
Dental braces are a combination of brackets and wires fixed onto the teeth. These may be made of stainless steel, plastic, or ceramic. These are used to correct misaligned, crooked, or crowded teeth. They exert gentle and continuous pressure on the teeth causing them to shift to the proper and desired position.
When are orthodontic braces needed?
The reasons for wearing dental braces are given below -----
- Malocclusion or bad bite – when the misaligned teeth start causing severe problems in biting, chewing, and speaking.
- Cosmetic improvement – To improve the cosmetic appearance of the teeth as well as face.
What problems can be created by malocclusion?
Malocclusion can cause the following problems ---
- Improper alignment of upper and lower teeth results in abnormal swallowing patterns.
- Biting or chewing difficulties.
- As it is difficult to remove plaque from between the crooked teeth, susceptibility to cavities is increased very much
- Speech defects are observed.
- Growth and development of the jaw becomes abnormal.
- Aches and pains in the areas of Headache, and neck and face.
- Accidents and fractures of teeth become probable.
How the braces provide help to you?
1. Dental braces are a combination of brackets and wires fixed onto the teeth. They exert gentle and continuous pressure on the teeth causing them to shift to the proper and desired position.
- After fitting the braces, the teeth change their position, and then the wires are adjusted from time to time, until the desired result is obtained.
- When the teeth have gained proper alignment, then the braces are removed. To hold the teeth in this new position retainers are used for a short period.
For how long will you have to wear the braces?
The treatment period depends on the extent of misalignment and the condition of the teeth. On the average, it takes from one to three years to gain perfect alignment. Then the braces can be removed.
What are the constituents of a dental brace?
- Small stainless steel brackets, or plastic brackets, or ceramic brackets ---these are bonded on the teeth
- Arch wires –these are thin wires that are passed through the brackets. they pull the teeth into position
- Bands – these are stainless steel tubes which are fitted on the molar teeth.
- Ligating rings – These are small plastic rings around the brackets. They hold the wire against the brackets. These rings are available in the colour of your choice or they may be transparent or white.
What types of braces are available with the Belfast dentists?
Belfast orthodontists can offer different types of braces ---
- Removable braces ---
These are made of plastic, having wire clips and springs to move the specific teeth, usually the upper teeth. Although they are removable, they should be removed only at the time of cleaning, and should remain in the mouth during meal times, during all day and during all night.
- Fixed braces ---
These cannot be removed. They are made up of small brackets which are bonded to the teeth and are joined together with a wire. They are used on upper as well as lower teeth. They may have following parts also ----
- Small elastic bands – These are attached to a fixed brace.
- A headgear – It is usually worn in evening or at night. It consists of a frame with wires (that come out of the mouth) which are attached to a headband.
What are the retainers?
Retainers are made up of plastic or metal. They are custom made. After the completion of the orthodontic treatment (with the help of braces) the retainers are placed on teeth to keep the aligned teeth in correct position. Retainers can be either fixed or removable. They are worn for at least six months.
What are Plastic aligners (Invisalign)?
They are made up of nearly invisible plastic. They are used to straighten adult teeth. The treatment is not suitable for people whose malocclusion problem is severe.
How is the dental braces treatment carried out by your Belfast dentist?
During the first appointment, the Belfast dentist will assess the dental health. Then after oral checkup he will decide whether braces will be the correct treatment for you
- X-rays, photographs, impressions of teeth will be taken to plan the treatment schedule.
- Following types of X-rays will be taken to create models of the bite, upper and lower jaws. These include ---
- Panografic X-rays --- These disclose the location of sinuses, nerves, sign of bone problems present. Entire view of the mouth is also obtained.
- CT Scan (Computerized tomography x-rays) --- these provide cross- section view and other views. They help in measuring the correct jaw height, width, bone density.
- Cephalometric x-rays --- these provide side images of jaw height and also help to check the bite consistence.
After studying the above reports the Belfast dentist will discuss with you the treatment options, limitations, cost, anaesthesia, and the risk involved.
If the dentist finds that the teeth are crowded or are too far in the front, then he will remove 2 – 4 premolar teeth.
Second appointment ---
- The Belfast dentist cleans the teeth, and removes the surface deposits of teeth. It will help fix the brackets on the teeth on later stage.
- Bands are cemented on the back teeth.
- With the help of a cheek retractor your lips and teeth are kept away from the teeth.
- The Belfast dentist places cotton rolls and a suction device to remove the saliva around teeth. Because the teeth are to be kept dry during the fixation of brackets.
- An is used to etch the teeth surface roughened with the help of a acid solution or gel. It helps fasten the grip of the brackets to the teeth.
- With the help of a special adhesive bracket is bonded onto the teeth.
- The procedure is completed in 1.5 - 2 hours.
- Appointments for follow up are scheduled every 30 days
- In the follow up appointments, adjustment of wires and braces is done and the progress of treatment is studied.
- At each appointment braces are tightened gradually taking care not to hurt the teeth and gums.
Removal of braces ---
After achieving desired results, the treatment is considered finished and then the braces are removed with the help of special pliers. This procedure causes no pain or discomfort.
What side effects can be possible after fixing the braces?
- Pain or soreness – It may be experienced after a few hours of fixing the braces. The Belfast dentist will prescribe analgesics to alleviate pain. He may apply some wax over areas of the braces which are causing discomfort to the lips and the cheeks.
- Piercing wires – If, , after a few days or weeks of treatment the teeth start to move, then the wire starts piercing in the cheeks. You should then fix an appointment with your Belfast dentist to trim these wires.
How should you take care of the braces?
Food particles and plaque collect around the braces. So regular cleaning of the braces is essential. Dental hygiene is necessary to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. You are advised to follow strict dental hygiene plan which will be designed by your Belfast dentist.
Some guidelines to prevent gum disease and maintain your braces in excellent condition are given below ---
Frequent cleaning of the braces ---
As food is usually trapped in the braces, and also collected between the teeth, it is very important that you clean them after each meal.
Use Suitable cleaning instruments and materials ---
Clean conditions of teeth and braces can be obtained by using the following instruments--
- A soft toothbrush or a special orthodontic is compulsory to brush your teeth.
- Use of floss threaders or superfloss can help in efficient flossing
- An interdental brush (or a proxabrush) – can reach between wire and the tooth. So it can remove hard-to-reach plaque and food particles.
- Oral irrigators – these are used before brushing and flossing. These help in removing food particles and plaque.
- A fluoride mouthwash – It prevents the possibility of cavities
Special cleaning techniques and their order – you should follow these cleaning techniques according to the order given below ---
- Take a soft toothbrush, brush from top to bottom on every tooth which has a brace attached to it.
- Then brush with a proxabrush to clean between the braces and teeth. Clean all the surfaces of each tooth before you move to the next tooth.
- Position the bristles of a tooth brush should be at a 45-degree angle on the outside of upper teeth, toward the gums. two to three teeth should be brushed at a time using circular motion. At least ten strokes should be made.
- In the same way brush the inner surfaces of the teeth.
- Also brush the chewing surfaces.
- Then repeat this process for the lower teeth.
- Repeat the above cleaning method until all teeth are cleaned.
- a fluoride mouthwash should be used to rinse away the debris which is left in mouth after the brushing
Which food habits and general habits are harmful for the braces and the teeth?
For example ---chewing on pencils can hurt the braces, and it will make their cleaning difficult. Such habits are to be controlled. Other worth controlling habits are given below ---
Hard foods like nuts, toffees, apples should be avoided because they can bend or break the brackets, wires, loosen the bands. Sweet snacks, sugary sodas and juices must be avoided because they can cause tooth decay. Sugary snacks stick to the teeth and braces and cause decay. Cutting these foods into small pieces before eating can reduce the risk of their sticking to the teeth and causing harm.
- Avoid hard or sticky candies, popcorn, and gum.
- Avoid chewing fingernails, pens, pencils because they can damage braces.
- Raw vegetables or Fruits should be cut into small pieces and should be chewed on the back teeth (molars, premolars).
Checking the braces for problems –
You may have some problems with your braces after some time. For example --- wires or brackets becoming loose, sometimes rarely wires may break during their use. On such occasions, you should fix up an appointment with your Belfast dentist. If neglected, they can cause complications. You should take care of the following ---
- Broken or protruding wires- they pierce into the cheek, tongue or gum. Visit your orthodontist as early as possible. Until then you can use these temporary solutions.
i. With the help of a pencil eraser push the poking wire to a less irritating position.
ii. Cover its sharp end with orthodontic wax.
iii. If a protruding wire causes mouth sore, then rinse your mouth with warm saltwater or an antiseptic solution.
iv. Important - Never cut such wires at home because bits of wire may be swallowed or inhaled causing additional complications.
- Loose brackets –these may pierce the gum tissues or the tongue or cheek. Instantly cover the sharp end with orthodontic wax and then visit the. Belfast orthodontist
- Loose bands - rarely the metal bonded around the back teeth may turn loose, in this case the metal and visit your Belfast orthodontist.
- Loose spacers – The spacers are tiny circular rubber bands and inserted between teeth to open a small gap between teeth. This gap helps orthodontic bands to slip onto a tooth more easily. Whenever a spacer slips out of place, make an appointment with your Belfast orthodontist to replace it.
- Allergic reactions – some patients may allergic to the latex or metal used in the bands and braces.
Use of mouth guards–you participate in any activity, but you should take special precautions while participating in contact sports. During such events you should use mouth guards
Taking care of the retainers
when the braces are removed, you will have to use the retainers. You should follow strict dental hygiene plan to keep the retainers clean. It will prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Following are some rules to be followed ---
- The retainer must be cleaned twice daily to remove food particles from it. A removable retainer must be cleaned daily with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- The side of the retainer which has contact with the roof of the mouth must be cleaned properly.
- Too Hot water should not be used for cleaning purpose, as it can deform the shape of retainer.
- Retainer should be stored in its case.
- Retainer should be away from pets
- Soak the retainer should be cleaned by immersing it in a denture cleaning solution every week. Some solutions can corrode metallic area of retainer, so the solution should be selected after consultation with the Belfast dentist.
Visit your dentist regularly – In order to it is essential to regularly visit with your Belfast dentist. He will monitor the condition of your teeth, gums and the progress of your dental alignment.Click here for a list of dentists in Belfast that offer orthodontics.