<strong>Orthodontics</strong>
Orthodontics

Currently there is a high percentage of the population with malocclusions and malpositioned teeth that need orthodontic treatment. Its effect is to restore the functionality of the mouth, while improving dental and facial aesthetics and, therefore, increase the quality of life of patients.

From very early on, children can undergo this type of treatment. Until recently, most patients in orthodontic clinics were children, but in recent years there has been an increase in these treatments in adults, to become almost 50% of patients.

Orthodontic treatments can be carried out with removable or fixed appliances. Removable appliances are those that are adjusted to each individual patient and can be removed at any time. Fixed appliances are those that attach to the tooth surface using resins and are tightened to one another with a metal archwire. The force applied by the archwires moves teeth with great precision to the desired position.

ASSOCIATED PROBLEMS

When the dentist believes there is a need to correct the position of teeth or to solve problems of malocclusion, he/she will recommend orthodontic treatment. 

Despite advances in orthodontic treatment, decreasing the common discomforts, that may arise during the process and that affect its successful outcome and the quality of life of patients, continues to be a great challenge. The complexity of removing oral biofilm (bacterial plaque) in highly retentive areas, such as those formed by orthodontic appliances, may cause gingival inflammation, caries and halitosis.

After insertion and activation of an orthodontic appliance, pain or discomfort may be caused by pressure during chewing or biting down hard with your teeth. Ulcerations also very commonly occur when orthodontic appliances rub against soft tissues, making it hard to eat, and in some cases to talk.

HYGIENE FOR ORTHODONTIC PATIENTS

It is important for patients to be given adequate oral hygiene instruction in an effort to minimise this set of complications during orthodontic treatment. Fixed appliance wearers must pay close attention to their oral hygiene, since they are who will most likely experience the most common orthodontic problems: accumulation of oral biofilm, gingivitis, caries, bad breath, etc. Due to these factors, thorough oral hygiene including interproximal cleaning is highly recommended. Patients must use toothbrushes with a V-shaped filament surface that adapts to the shape of their braces, together with toothpaste and mouthwash that are specifically formulated for orthodontic patients. Use of soft wax is also recommended for direct application to the brackets to prevent the occurrence of aphthous ulcers.

Effervescent cleansing tablets are recommended for removing the build-up of food debris and oral biofilm from removable appliances.

Orthodontic patients should not only maintain good oral hygiene, but they should also do the following to keep their appliances in good conditions:

  • Avoid eating hard foods, such as nuts, toasted bread and seeds.
  • Avoid eating eat sticky and/or sugary foods such as gum, candy, etc.
  • Be careful with fruit pits.
  • Avoid cutting food with teeth. Use a knife and fork to cut food into small pieces.

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