More About Braces

Life with Braces

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them?

It's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces

throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.

 

Eating with Braces

Don't worry, you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

 

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice

  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice

  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum

  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies

  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots

 

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

  • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks

  • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts

  • Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice

  • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats

  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes

  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans

  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice

  • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

Types of Braces

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than

ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal

brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber

bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.

 

Clear (Ceramic) Braces

​Ceramic braces are made of clear materials and are therefore less visible on your teeth than metal

braces. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who

have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to

oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For

these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.​

 

Invisalign (Clear Aligners)

Clear aligners are a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable acrylic trays that straighten your

teeth like braces. Not only are the aligners invisible, they are removable, so you can eat and drink

what you want while in treatment, plus brushing and flossing are less of a hassle. The aligners are

comfortable and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.

 

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are hidden behind the teeth and are therefore “invisible” when you smile. Lingual

braces are 100% customized to match the shape of your teeth; the metal appliances are created

uniquely for you. Lingual braces are a very reasonable option for athletes, models, actors/actresses,

musicians who play wind instruments, and adult professionals.

Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.

 

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.

 

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.

 

Take Care of Your Appliances

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.

 

Playing Sports with Braces

Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.

For All Ages

Orthodontics for Children

While there is no exact age for children to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends visiting the orthodontist around age seven.

By this age, most children have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth, making it easier for the orthodontist to diagnose and correct tooth and jaw problems sooner and without surgery.

 

Early Treatment Allows Orthodontists to:

  • Correct and guide the growth of your child's jaw to help the permanent teeth come in straight

  • Regulate the width of the upper and lower arches

  • Create more space for crowded teeth

  • Avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions later in life

  • Correct thumb sucking and help improve minor speech problems

 

For parents, it's not always easy to know if your child may need orthodontic treatment.

Things to look out for that may mean your child needs to see an Orthodontist:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth

  • A hard time chewing or biting food

  • Mouth breathing

  • Finger or thumb sucking

  • Crowded, misplaced, or blocked teeth

  • Jaws that pop or make sounds when opening and closing

  • Teeth that come together abnormally, or do not come together at all

  • Jaws and teeth that are not proportionate to the rest of the face

  • Crowded front teeth around age seven or eight

 

Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. Early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.

 

Orthodontics for Teens

Braces, retainers, and everything else that you want to know about orthodontics!

You've just heard the three words that every teen dreads: “YOU NEED BRACES!”

 

Braces! What Now?

Don't worry! Braces aren't nearly as scary as you may think. In fact, braces today come in a variety of styles, materials, and colors, making life with braces much easier, more comfortable, and even more stylish than in the past.

How Long Will I Have to Wear Braces?

The amount of time it takes to treat your smile with braces depends on three key factors:

  • Early treatment — Early treatment allows orthodontists to monitor the growth of the jaw and recommend further orthodontic treatment if it becomes necessary. Not everybody receives early orthodontic treatment; in some cases it may be recommended that a patient wait to receive treatment.

  • What needs correction — The amount of treatment needed to correct a problem will determine how long the process takes. Different patients react to treatments differently. While it may take one patient only 12 months to complete treatment, it may take another patient 24 months. Treatment times can vary depending on how quickly your body responds and how much work is needed to give you the show-stopping smile you expect.

  • YOU! — Your willingness to use the appliances your orthodontist gives you plays a major role in the length of time it takes to complete your treatment. Always remember to take care of your braces and appliances; this truly will help make your treatment shorter!

 

Braces Your Way!

Our practice offers a variety of braces, types and styles, to choose from. Some common options include:

  • Ceramic braces

  • Invisible braces

  • Lingual braces

  • Traditional metal braces

Orthodontic braces are a big part of life for many people your age. While braces may have had a bad reputation in the past, today's braces make it easy to look good and feel good! Please contact our practice to schedule your next orthodontic checkup.

Orthodontics for Adults

Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.

Common Reasons Why Adults Consider Orthodontic Treatment:

  • A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly

  • Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly causing tooth decay or gum disease

  • Abnormal jaw pain, or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth

  • Desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile

Treatment Options for Adults:

For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. However, today's orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. Types of braces include:

  • Clear braces

  • Ceramic braces

  • Self-ligating braces

  • Lingual (behind the tooth) braces

  • Invisible braces

  • Traditional metal braces

The Difference Between Adult Orthodontics and Orthodontics for Children/Teens:

The main difference to remember when treating adults or children and teens, is that in younger patients the jawbones are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, which may mean the possibility of orthognathic surgery to align the jawbones. Other differences include:

  • Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease.

  • Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease.

  • Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment. As an adult, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they always wanted.

Our practice also recognizes that adults and children have different needs, and require a different level of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatments, and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.

Why Should You Consider Orthodontic Treatment?

  • Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.

  • A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back!

  • Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it's needed can create long-term health issues costing you more in the end.

To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. We understand that you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.

 
 
 
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Dr. John F. Buzzatto

Orthodontics

3942 William Flynn Highway

Allison Park, PA 15101

412-487-8560

304 Hickman Street

Bridgeville, PA 15017

412-257-0025

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