For many people, braces are a necessary part of achieving a beautiful smile. But can they cause long-term damage? The answer is yes, but with proper care and treatment, the risks can be minimized. Installing orthodontic appliances can put the user at risk of increasing gingivitis, plaque buildup, and overstretching and weakening the roots of the teeth that move through the braces. This can lead to problems such as increased bursa depth, recession, and even bone loss.
In the short term, dental appliances can interfere with the way patients chew food. In particular, the small spaces around the teeth created by braces provide a place for food particles to be trapped and thus cause a deposit of plaque and bacteria. It is relatively common for patients with braces to notice some tenderness on the inside of the cheeks, lips, and gums, where they come into contact with the metal support and wires of the braces. This can cause injury to the soft tissues in the area. It is possible to reduce pain and irritation in these areas and help sensitive areas to heal with proper care and treatment. Braces and tooth extraction in adolescence do not resolve the underlying causes of crooked teeth and improper facial development.
In fact, research has shown that orthodontic movement of the teeth through the constant force of braces causes root damage in almost 100% of patients. Orthodontics with braces has been used for decades to straighten teeth in early adolescence, when all of the permanent teeth have appeared, but it's important to recognize that there are well-documented disadvantages. This is more common in patients who do not closely follow their orthodontist's instructions for aftercare of dental appliances, especially if they use a restraint device that helps maintain the position of the teeth. Some patients may experience a loss of correction of the position of their teeth after removing their braces.
Dentistsand orthodontists may have different opinions on whether there is a relationship between braces and poor gum health. However, Kelly Blodgett, a dentist in Portland, Oregon encourages patients to delay braces until their teeth, gums, and mouth are fully developed - sometimes not until their mid-twenties. The placement of dental appliances is generally considered to be a safe procedure, but there are some risks associated with their use.
If there is a known allergy to materials used in dental appliances such as latex rubber in elastics or nickel in metal braces, these materials can be avoided; however, if the patient experiences a reaction after placing their braces, it may be necessary to remove them and replace them with a material that is more appropriate for them. It's also important to rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating to make sure you remove any pieces of food that may have been trapped in your braces. Braces are like Chinese foot bindings - they force your teeth to follow the direction of a preformed wire. Therefore, if you are thinking of using orthodontic appliances for yourself or your children, consult an experienced orthodontist to evaluate the health of your existing gums before starting treatment. In conclusion, while braces can cause long-term damage if not properly cared for, this risk can be minimized with proper care and treatment.
It's important to follow your orthodontist's instructions for aftercare and make sure you rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating. If you have any allergies to materials used in dental appliances such as latex rubber or nickel, make sure you let your orthodontist know before starting treatment.