Orthodontics is a specialty discipline of dentistry that focuses on alignment of the teeth and jaws to improve a person’s smile and oral health. Orthodontists will diagnose, treat and prevent irregularities of the teeth with the use of braces, which are fixed dental appliances, and removable dental appliances, when the braces are removed. These devices can be used to straighten teeth, correct an irregular bite, close unsightly gaps and bring teeth and lips into proper alignment. Crooked teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean and are at risk of being lost early because of tooth decay or periodontal disease.
Good oral hygiene is especially important when you have braces or other orthodontic appliances. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, flossing daily, and scheduling ongoing dental visits are all important to help keep the gums and teeth healthy.
Patients with braces should maintain a balanced diet and limit sugary snacks between meals. Your dentist may recommend avoiding certain foods that could interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires, such as nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice and sticky foods, such as chewing gum, caramel or other chewy candy.