What you Should know Before Smile Correction​

Patient information

The dentist as well as an orthodontist both focuses on oral care. However, dentistry is a broad speciality dealing with teeth, gums, jaws generally whereas an orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry acquired after 3 years of certified Masters course that mainly focuses on fixing bites, straightening of teeth and modifying growth of jaws. To practice orthodontics, one needs license from higher authority i.e. Indian Orthodontic Society.

Dentist typically encourage good oral hygiene and provide services related to:

-Tooth decay

-Root canal

-Gum diseases

-Crowns

-Bridges

-Veneers

-Teeth whitening

Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopeadician are involved more into:

-Fixing the bite

-Spacing between teeth

-Crowded teeth

-Overbite

-Underbite

-Small or large jaws

-Temporomandibular disorders

While a dentist may be trained with short term courses to provide orthodontic care but always trust your smile to a certified orthodontist who is well trained to provide you with individualized treatment plan and balance the different procedures required for the same.

Always consult a certified orthodontist.

We live in a world that is highly social that demands you to look good, at least acceptable to go ahead, to get into a relationship, to be happy and to enjoy success in your career. Individual tests do differ but crooked teeth are not considered acceptable in societal norms. We are one of our own harshest critic. When we stand in front of the mirror and try to assess ourselves, we notice everything that no one else might notice, right from a tiny pimple on cheek to wrinkles around the eyes. However, there is one thing that is noticed by everyone whoever comes across and that is your smile. Smile is a universal message of being happy. It is the first impression of any individual that makes her/him more attractive and approachable. A beautiful smile doesn’t always need a beautiful face. Smile is a happy hormone releasing factor that encourages positive thoughts. If you are not smiling often because of your crooked teeth, your emotional health is at stake.  

Having crooked teeth are not a big problem. The basic problem is emotional and psychological trauma that deteriorates physical appearance of an individual, since they are always conscious about how they look. The society also treats people with crooked teeth differently. The opinions about them are always prejudiced about being unfriendly, uninterested or rude and they are always being judged about their oral hygiene, socioeconomic status as well as their upbringing. In many cases, absolutely opposite could be the fact.  It is a vicious cycle of cause and effect. 

  An individual with crooked teeth is not comfortable showing her/his teeth. So they either hide their teeth with hand or are afraid to smile. It reflects in their photographs too. They face yet another day in their life staring in envy at the straight teeth of others flaunting their smile confidently. 

Sometimes they are so conscious that they completely isolate themselves and avoid getting indulged into any of the social events.  They stay at home; even stop interacting with people as they are conscious about their wonky teeth. 

There will be some instances where you would be required to speak in public, but the crooked tooth stop you from doing so. This way, you may miss out some of the wonderful opportunities the life has to offer you. 

Peer pressure is another thing that plays a very important role in teen age individuals. Crooked teeth constantly make them feel embarrassed which may instil in them a fear of being teased or ridiculed, ultimately isolating them from their peer group. The individual may lose the power of complete self expression. 

Such people may also face rejections in their relationships. This is specially a case when it is the time to get married not only for girls but for boys as well. In foreign countries, the parents become aware of their children’s oral health pretty early especially when it comes to malaligned teeth. However, the scenario is a bit different in India. The parents bring their daughters/sons after facing few rejections in marriage proposals and this is what I have observed. In such circumstances, they want to get the teeth corrected as soon as possible which may compromise the end result of the treatment. So it’s always better to start the treatment as soon as it is detected.

All these kind of subtle nuisances may push these individuals into crises of depression. In extreme cases, there have been some individuals who attempted suicide because of severe depression. 

You may convince yourself by saying that this is me. This is the way I am. I am introvert, I am shy, I don’t like to socialize, my career is ok, I am not meant for successful relationships. Oh really….?  By repeatedly saying all this, do you really think that you are authentic enough to yourself? If you are overweight and you know that is affecting your perfect life, you will adapt proper diet and exercise in your routine. Then why to sentence you to lifetime unhappiness just for those crooked teeth. This is the time to discover the Real You….extrovert, happy go lucky, lovable person. Lets make your crooked teeth a thing that lies in your past.

Along with just straightening of teeth, there are plethora of benefits when it comes to getting braces. 
      1. Prevent gum diseases:- If the teeth are malaligned , the food gets easily lodged between the teeth causing gum diseases. And if you do not take proper care of your gums, it could be a daunting experience for you. Also gum diseases produce bad odour which could at times be embarrassing for you. 
      2. Prevent cavities:- As previously mentioned, malaligned teeth have more tendency to retain food. These areas are usually difficult for tooth brushes to reach. These food debris cause accumulation of bacteria and lower the ph in teeth crevices initiating cavities.
      3. In both the above conditions, braces space out teeth, making these areas more accessible for cleaning.
      4. Help with digestion: If your teeth are not aligned, they face difficulty in biting the food into small bites, which in turn becomes cumbersome for your stomach to digest those large pieces. If yout teeth are aligned properly, your stomach will have easier time.
      5. Prevents injury to teeth:-Teeth that stick out of lips are usually vulnerable to breakage either because of accidental falling or during sports. Putting braces and getting teeth into proper position will significantly reduce the chances of getting fractured.
      6. Help boost your self esteem:- Everyone wants a beautiful smile. And one’s self esteem is truly reflected in their smile. Therefore braces not only help improving your health but also raise one’s self esteem by giving you that awesome smile you always wanted to flaunt at your social events. 
      7. Help in speech improvement: Malaligned teeth make the pronunciation   of certain words difficult since these teeth have great impact on the way we sound. Straightened teeth therefore help improving the speech. 
       

The most important thing to understand about the braces is, these braces do not move teeth. Wires do this job. Braces act only as handles to hold these wires. There are different types of braces available however their indications may vary according to the treatment needed and we will guide you with that. 

  1. Metal braces:- Metal braces are the most common types of braces made of stainless steel in combination with titanium. The braces are glued to your teeth with a special type of dental cement and are tied together with steel wires. These wires are secured to braces with elastic ties. These wires put gentle pressure on your teeth that brings about the tooth movement.  Coloured ties are particularly popular in teenage patients who like to customize their appearance. 
  2. Invisible/Clear/Ceramic braces:- Invisible brackets are clear brackets same in size and shape as that of metal brackets made of ceramic. However, they blend with the colour of the teeth so that they are not easily recognized. To make them even less noticeable, clear braces can also be accompanied with clear wires and ties. 
  3. Self ligating braces:- Self ligating braces are much like conventional braces, either metallic or clear, with the exception of ties. They have a permanently installed door in them that can be opened and closed to entrap the archwire eliminating the need of ties. These braces speed up first stage of the treatment because of less friction in braces and wires. These braces not only save time but also extend the time span between two appointments.  Self ligating braces are easier to clean. 
  4. Lingual braces:- There are so many people who desire for a healthy, beautiful smile that motivates them to get their teeth straightened with braces. However, the biggest obstacle to seek this treatment is the look of conventional braces. For them, a better option can be lingual braces. They are similar to conventional metal braces, the only difference is, they are fixed on the back of your teeth towards tongue side making them virtually invisible.  However, these braces are customized according your teeth to fix your unique problem. We first make the impression of your teeth and send them to fabrication company. The company then creates brackets according to the structure of your teeth. 

Clear aligners:- Schedule too busy to give time for appointments? Here are clear aligners for you. Clear aligners are transparent, plastic form of dental braces that bring about the tooth movement. They do not use brackets and wires. In this type of treatment, a virtual model of your teeth is created with computer software. This software shows you all the steps in your treatment right from the initial positions of your teeth to the desired result. With the help of this software, a series of customized aligners is created for you. Every set has to be changed after 2 weeks based on the recommendation. Even if its not possible for you to show up for the appointment, you just have to follow the recommended guideline according to the plan. However, patient compliance plays a very important role in the success of this treatment. Therefore, you should be disciplined to wear these aligners all the time.

  1. First visit:- Your first visit will give you a chance to see our office, meet our team and a detailed examination and discussion about the treatment options with the doctor. This is an initial consultation. During your first visit, we will:
  1. Examine you extra orally as well as intra orally.
  2. Review your dental and medical history if any. 
  3. Recommend you with x-ray if deemed essential. 
  4. Will provide you with different treatment option if applicable. 
  5. Discuss with you about the financial information and payment plans.
Our team will be glad to satisfy your all queries.    
    1. Second visit:- When you are willing to start the treatment, contact our team and they will be ready to help you and schedule your appointment at the earliest. This appointment is scheduled for your diagnostic records including impression, photographs and x-ray, if necessary. This will take less than 30 minutes. Along with this, your consent will be taken to start the treatment. The treatment, financial information and payment options. Once the final treatment plan has been discussed according to your needs, the next appointment will be scheduled to actively start your treatment when your appliance, whichever indicated will be delivered to you. 
  • Scheduling subsequent appointments:- Once the actual treatment has been initiated, the subsequent visits will be scheduled every 6 to 10 weeks. We will make sure your appointments are as convenient as possible suiting your time. 
We are aware that many of our patients are school or college going adolescents and may wish to be seen in the evening hours or weekends. Accordingly our schedule has been designed for the patients with some objectives in mind. 
  • To accommodate patients at their scheduled appointments.
  • To minimize the need for excessive time away from home/work.
Accordingly, we plan to schedule time consuming procedures in the morning on weekdays. By doing this, we try to keep evening hours and weekends free for school/college going or working patients.  Chances of missing the appointments….no worries.  We understand, anyone can have time constraints. A day prior, or on the day of appointment, you will receive a reminder call or message from our team. If you are running late or need to reschedule, please let us know. We will try our best to reschedule your appointment as soon as possible to keep the treatment progressing and on time. Missing several appointments or frequent rescheduling of appointments may result into extension of treatment time.  Please try to provide a notice period of 24 hours if in case you want to reschedule your appointment.
    1. Immediately after putting the braces in your mouth, you may initially find it difficult to get adjusted with them. You may have a sour mouth for a week or so, temporary changes in speech, speaking or eating could be worrisome. Once you get accustomed to them, it gets easier. 
    • Eating with braces in your mouth:- Initially, it may be a bit uncomfortable to eat with braces. You will have to limit your consumption of food that are soft, fluffy and can be easily mashed up. There is as such no problem with daily meal. The only thing you have to take care about is the hard, sticky stuff that may either get stuck in between your braces or breaks your braces. 
    • Foods to avoid
    1. Sticky foods- toffee, caramel, chocolates, ice-creams with choco nuts.
    2. Hard foods- raw vegetables such as apple, cucumber, carrots, etc.
    If you wish to eat them, grate them into pieces and then consume instead of directly biting onto them.
    1. Cruchy- chips, popcorns
    2. Tough- bone chicken, sandwiches, pizzas, burgers.
    Avoid aerated drinks with braces in mouth.   
      1. If you play flute, saxophone or any other instrument that comes directly in contact with your teeth, you may find it difficult to play. The treatment may have to be modified accordingly. 
    • Maintaining oral hygiene:- If you do not maintain proper oral hygiene, chances are there that your teeth may show white spots at the end of the treatment which are nothing but decalcification areas. These areas are more susceptible to caries in future. Not cleaning your teeth properly also leads to accumulation of food debris around your braces. These food debris start irritating your gums leading to swollen gums. To avoid white spots and enlarged gums, brush your teeth three times a day, rinse with fluoridated mouthwash at least twice a day and gargle after every meal. Avoid eating sweets with high sugar content. Special ortho brushes are also available in the market. 
    Care for invisible braces:- Though transparent ties are used to hold the wires in clear brackets, it is possible for these ties to get discoloured with highly pigmented food, especially turmeric which is used in Indian diet, tomato sauce, tea, coffee, etc. Smoking can also stain these ties. Try to avoid these foods in order to prevent the staining of your ties. Even if they get stained, that is not the end of the world. Those can be changed whenever you come to have your braces adjusted.

    Once you are done with orthodontic treatment, it is only half battle won. The teeth moved to new places in your jaws have to be maintained that way with retainers to prevent them from coming back to their prior position. After completing the treatment, the time duration of these retainers depend upon the complexity and the type of treatment you had. 

    There are 3 types of retainers

    1) Fixed retainer

    2) Plate retainer

    3) Clear/Essix retainer

    Their indications vary according to the treatment. There are certain instructions you have to follow to maintain those retainers. 

    1. Clean your retainers once a day with brush and soap. Avoid using tooth paste. Cleaning retainers removes food debris and eliminate odour. 
    2. Avoid drinking or eating anything with retainers in your mouth.
    3. If you are not using the retainers, don’t forget to keep them in retainer case. 
    4. Keep your retainers away from heat.

    Remember one thing, braces were fixed, retainers could be removable. We depend entirely on your co operation to maintain your straighten teeth.

    We offer a variety of payment options suiting to the needs of individual patients. The fee for orthodontic treatment is discussed before the start of the treatment. The fee is individualized and differs according to the type of appliance selected by the patient and complexity of the treatment. For patient’s convenience, we accept cash payments, cheques, card payments as well as online transactions.

    You may have an insurance that covers a part of orthodontic treatment. However, it may vary among different insurance companies. However, we would be happy to assist you in making your claims.