Dental Braces

Some kids can’t wait to get braces. Others are a little worried about what it will be like or how they will look. It helps to learn more about braces, which straighten your teeth and make your smile even better looking.

Tooth Talk
Lots of kids don’t have perfect teeth, so don’t worry if yours aren’t straight. Take a look at most of your classmates. Many of them probably don’t have straight teeth either. Sometimes teeth just don’t grow in evenly. Your teeth might be crooked, or your upper and lower jaws might not be the same size. If your upper jaw is bigger than your lower jaw, that’s called an overbite. If your lower jaw is bigger than your upper jaw, you have an underbite. Either way it’s called malocclusion, which means “bad bite.” Malocclusion is just a word that dentists use to describe the shape of your mouth. Your dentist might notice one of these problems during a regular visit and recommend that you see an orthodontist.

Types of Braces
If your parents had braces, you might have seen pictures of them with their mouths full of metal. Today, braces are much less noticeable. Metal braces are still used, but you might be able to get clear braces or braces that are the same color as your teeth. There are even braces that go behind your teeth where no one can see them.The wires that are used in braces today are also smaller and better than they used to be, and they’re made of a space-age material that straightens your teeth faster and easier. Today, we even have technology which enables you to have comfortable, invisible, easy to wear aligners which correct malocclusion without having to wear brackets and wires.

Life with Braces
Braces act like magnets for food, so you need to keep your teeth especially clean while you have them on.
• Brush after meals and remember to remove any food items that get stuck in your braces
• One of the best ways to avoid problems is to intake small chunks of any food items
• Avoid using your front teeth (incisors) to bite. chew using your molars
• No special diet is required when you have braces, but it is best to avoid some foods that cause problems for braces
• Stay away from popcorn, hard and sticky candy, and especially gum
• Sugary sodas and juices can cause a problem too, because the sugar stays on your teeth and may cause tooth decay.You can have these drinks, but be sure to brush afterwards

Because braces put pressure on your teeth, you might feel uncomfortable once in a while, especially right after the orthodontist makes adjustments. If you have pain, ask your mom or dad to give you a pain reliever.