Brace yourselves: Things to remember before visiting your dentist

Now that there are many looking to see a dentist, docs share that the most common apprehensions are of people who fear braces or aligners.

Published: 17th August 2022 09:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th August 2022 09:15 AM   |  A+A-

dentist, dental

Image used for representational purposes

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Braces are cool again (while they should have always been), thanks to the internet discouraging superficial ideas of looks. With people going back to dentists in large numbers post-pandemic, doctors share advice and tips about braces, aligners and their care.

Dr Lakshmi Santhoshi, an endodontist in the city has observed that during the Covid-19 phase, many dental patients feared getting contaminated and hence most of the non-elective procedures like scaling, fillings cosmetics treatments took a back seat. “But post the Covid-19 wave, there has been a rise in appointments. Many even understood that hygiene and health service are essential to lead a happy life,” she shares.

Now that there are many looking to see a dentist, docs share that the most common apprehensions are of people who fear braces or aligners. Dr Rahul Reddy, head, clinical operation and excellence, Apollo Dental, has some things to bear in mind before going to a dentist. “Always update your dentist on previous dental visits and treatments, medical history, and ongoing medications. If you get braces, know that you can’t skip any dental appointments. Also, you cannot chew hard food like nuts, to maintain proper oral hygiene. Even then, remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.”

Sameer Merchant, the CEO, of Illusion Aligners, points out that the world is becoming conscious of their health and appearance these days. “In this wake of self-care, the dental industry comes hands-on in the form of smile designing using aligners and braces for crooked or misaligned teeth. It’s good for patients to have some information before visiting their dentists. The patient should know the treatment and how long it takes for results to show.

They are not immediate, especially in the case of teeth straightening either through aligners or braces. The patients who desire aligners or braces should know that each misaligned case or oral condition is different and treatment plan will accordingly vary. Above all, they should voice their preferences about appearance and the treatment option they want. For example, some may not want people to know about their teeth alignment treatment. Hence they can choose aligners over metal braces. Such information helps the dentist plan the treatment course accordingly,” he shares.

For the uninitiated, aligners are the latest teeth straightening method that can correct your smile inconspicuously. Sameer explains how they are different from braces: “You have to wear a series of clear plastic trays that fit snugly over your teeth. They are removable and allow you to enjoy all foods of your choice. Additionally, they are crack-proof and stain-resistant making them practically invisible. They’re hidden even in photographs!

Aligners make you more confident about your smile journey. Studies have shown that aligners have worked faster than braces in a few cases. As for braces, you might have to deal with the metallic look of the wires and brackets permanently fixed on the teeth. Although options like lingual braces and ceramic braces can solve the issue to some extent, they can be uncomfortable. Along with cuts in your mouth, eating certain foods may also be forbidden with braces.”

There are pros and cons to every treatment and the alignment of teeth is no exception. “A patient opting for braces should always be more cautious about dental hygiene. While in the case of clear aligners, utmost care should be taken in regular wearing, keeping the aligners safe, and timely changing the trays as dental visits are not often. An irregular usage of aligners is very discouraging for the patients as it affects the treatment outcome,” he tells CE.

In terms of safety, both the braces and aligners are biologically safe and compatible and are not dangerous for the user, share the doctors, although having unhygienic oral health may cause infections and other health complications. Dr Rahul suggests one schedule routine checkups with the family dentist and continues to visit every six months.


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