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Few people are lucky enough to be born with a set of perfectly aligned teeth. This fact and the pursuit for beautiful smile led to the development of braces. Traditional braces did help realign teeth, but are uncomfortable and affect a person's appearance while they are in use. Ceramic braces are less noticeable as the brackets are clear or tooth coloured. Invisible braces are the latest in dental realignment therapy. They are virtually invisible and are not associated with any dietary restrictions unlike the earlier forms of braces.
Invisible braces are also known as aligners. Aligners are similar to mouth guards in appearance, but are custom built to fit tightly around the patient's teeth. These slip over the teeth and are designed to be removed and replaced every fortnight. Aligners may also be removed for eating, brushing and flossing. Each set of aligners vary slightly so as to move your teeth forcefully and correct your bite.
Treatment time of invisible braces depends on how much the teeth needs to be moved. In most cases, treatment takes between 10 months to 24 months. Aligners are also often used by adults who wore braces as children to correct slight displacement of teeth. In such cases, treatment could take as little as 10 weeks.
However, not everyone can get invisible braces. Aligners are custom built to fit tightly over teeth. This makes them unfit for use on children teeth as their teeth are constantly growing and developing. This is typically used for patients suffering from mild to moderately crowded teeth or those who have minor spacing issues between teeth. It can also be used as a follow up form of treatment for traditional braces.
Invisible braces are also slightly more expensive as compared to traditional braces as they are custom fitted.
The first step towards getting invisible braces is an X-ray, dental photographs and impression of the patient's teeth, gums and bite. These are then used to create a digital 3D representation of the patient's teeth in their current positions and their desired positions. The in-between stages are then created by moving the teeth .25 to .33 millimeters in each stage. The number of intermediate stages depend on the extent teeth need to be moved. Each stage is representative of an aligner to be worn for 2 weeks. If a tooth needs to be pulled away or rotated, a small, composite attachment may be bonded to the tooth.
The biggest advantage with invisible braces is that they can be worn without making a person self-conscious.
While you might think that you are on track by brushing twice a day, but just doing that may not be enough. If your technique is not right or if you are using the wrong type of toothbrush, you are making your teeth vulnerable to infections and decay.
Here are the common brushing mistakes that can harm your teeth:
1. You do not brush long enough
The single most common mistake that people make while brushing is not brushing long enough. If you want to thoroughly clean your teeth, you should brush for almost 2 minutes. Experts suggest that most of the people with gum diseases did not brush their teeth for sufficient amount of time. Try using an electric toothbrush with a timer to ensure that you brush for 2 minutes.
2. You miss the important sites
Missing important areas of your mouth while brushing your teeth is also a common brushing mistake. Brushing should involve devoting an equal amount of time to all areas, targeting the inside, outside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, along with your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth. Most people do not think consciously while brushing, making it easy to skip the vulnerable sites.
3. You use too much of paste
Using too much of toothpaste will not make your teeth cleaner. On the contrary, it might make you brush for a shorter span since too much of foam in your mouth can make you uncomfortable. For children, a small swipe on a toothbrush is enough and for adults, a pea-sized or marble-sized amount is more than sufficient.
4. You brush too hard
You may think that the more pressure you apply while brushing, the better it is. But that is not the case. Aggressive brushing can actually cause the gum tissue to come away from your teeth, leading to swollen gums and even bleeding. It can also result in tooth sensitivity or even loose teeth. Experts recommend that you should use a soft bristled toothbrush. Soft bristles tend to be gentle on your teeth and will flex more under the gum line, which leads to a more thorough cleaning.
5. Your technique is wrong
Brushing your teeth is not a race that you need to finish in time. By taking long, crude and haphazard sweeps back and forth, you are only going to harm your teeth. Concentrate instead on small areas at a time and brush gently in a circular motion. When you are at the gum line, remember to keep your bristles at an angle of 45 degrees and always brush away from the gums.
So, it is high time you change these brushing habits and adopt healthy dental practices for plaque free and healthy gums and teeth. Stay healthy, stay happy!