Orthodontic FAQs

DECCAN DENTAL welcomes you!


Q: What is orthodontics?

A: Orthodontics is a specialized form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.


Q: Who is an orthodontist?

A: An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth with the help of braces and other modalities, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile. Our Deccan dental clinic, Pune is owned by Dr. Priyanka Saokar Navale who is orthodontist herself.


Q: What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?

A: If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.Its not always about metal braces; you can choose other options too.You all are welcome to Deccan dental clinic no matter what is your age is.


Q: How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?

A: Always remember to brush your teeth after every meal, and floss at least once a day.
Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep the retainer safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar.
Avoid sticky and chewy foods, hard foods, or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces.
Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
Dental care is important because it:

  • Fights teeth decay
  • Helps to prevent miscellaneous periodontal (gum) diseases, which eventually can lead to tooth loss
  • Prevents bad breath. So besides brushing and flossing, seeing the dentist regularly will help eliminate the bacteria that causes a bad smell
  • Awards you with a snow-white smile and a new breath of confidence!
  • Helps keep teeth shiny by preventing them being stained by food, drinks, and cigarettes
  • Makes your teeth stronger which allows you to eat any food you want, at any age!


Q: What are braces?

A: Braces are used by your orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:

  • Clear braces
  • Ceramic braces
  • Gold braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Self-ligating braces
  • Invisible braces
  • Traditional metal braces


Q: If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?

A: The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 18 months.


Q: Do braces hurt?

A: Braces do not often hurt, though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces. We at Deccan dental clinic prescribe analgesics and antiseptic gels for initial few appointments to minimize discomfort.


Q: Do I need to brush my teeth more often if I have braces?

A: With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to brush and floss properly once your braces are placed.


Q: If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

A: Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.


Q: Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?

A: Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.


Q: How do I schedule my next appointment?

A: Simply call our clinic. Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next appointment at your convenience. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know and we will provide you with all of the information you need.


Q: Will I need to wear rubber bands?

A: Rubber bands help to correct your bite. It's the constant light force of the rubber bands that work to mesh your teeth together and slide them along your arch wire.


Q: What do the colored ties do?

A: The colored ties that patients get to choose at each visit serve three purposes. First, they are placed around each brace to hold your wire in the slot of each bracket. Secondly, they act as a buffer around the edges of the brackets to make them more comfortable to your lips and cheeks. Lastly, they help you to show your team spirit or add to the latest holiday celebration with your awesome color choices!


Q: Are ceramic brackets as effective as regular metal braces?

A: Functionally speaking, yes, ceramic brackets are as effective as their metallic counterparts; however, as they are made of porcelain, they tend to fracture more easily – making following the No-No Food List all that more important!


Q: Can all of my (my child’s) appointments be after school?

A: In our Deccan dental clinic we always schedule appointment according to patient convenience. The majority of your appointments can be after school; however, the initial placement of braces will typically be scheduled earlier in the day. This allows us to have more availability in the afternoon for the shorter regular appointments that your child will have going forward after the braces have been placed.


Q: Will I have to wear retainers for the rest of my life?

A: Retainers are an essential part of your full braces treatment. Teeth always remember where they were before, so retainers help to hold them in their corrected positions. The first six months after your braces are removed, you will wear your retainers full-time (taking them out for brushing, eating and contact sports only). RetainersAfter that initial six month period, Dr. Priyanka Saokar Navale will inform you that you only need to wear your retainers for the next ten months while you sleep! At your final retainer check, you will be instructed to try your retainers in one night per week and you will be told how to monitor the fit of your retainers to avoid needing braces a second time!


Q: Will all of my appointments with orthodontist be the same length of time?

A: The majority of your appointments will be quick; usually fifteen minutes or less. You will be seen approximately every four weeks or so. Our team at Deccan dental clinic does a terrific job of telling you what will happen at each appointment and also tell you what to expect at the next appointment so you can schedule accordingly.


Q: Why teeth get stained after braces?

A: The day your braces come off is one of the most exciting days of your life, regardless of when you got them on. Yet having undergone incredible patience (and expense) to straighten your smile, seeing the process has left you with stained teeth can be very upsetting. Take heart in learning there are several ways to prevent this discoloration while wearing braces, and just as many opportunities to whiten your teeth evenly once they come off. It's often not the braces-
Your teeth can become stained during orthodontic treatment for several reasons, which is why some braces-wearers develop this problem while others don't. Traditional braces have a complex design of brackets and wires that can trap food, leading to a buildup of bacteria that causes plaque to form. It's not the actual braces that cause these stains but the plaque that forms in crevices you can't easily get to.
Wearing braces makes it difficult to remove this plaque, allowing it to create acids that leach the minerals from your enamel. This demineralization changes the way the tooth surface reflects the light, resulting in the development of unsightly white spots in the areas that are difficult to reach. Plaque also increases your risk for tooth decay and gum disease while the braces are on.


Q: How to prevent staining?

A: It's essential to practice good dental hygiene at all times, but when you're wearing braces, the complete removal of this plaque is tough to do. Your best defense against stained teeth should include:

  • Eliminating certain foods and drinks from your diet, such as sugary or starchy items, high acid fruit drinks and sodas
  • Brushing and flossing after every meal, using a toothpaste with fluoride content to maintain color and attack the germs that ruin it at the same time. To make this easier to manage, ground your diet to three meals a day and only brush 3 minutes after any given dish. This gives your enamel time to settle and your saliva time to wash away the acids left by the food.
  • Regular dental cleanings help to remove tartar that you can't eliminate on your own during daily brushing and flossing. For patients who find they are particularly prone to plaque developing on the biting surfaces of teeth, applying a sealant before braces go on can provide added protection. Talk to the orthodontist to see if this would be practical for you.


Q: How to whiten teeth after the removal of braces?

A: When your treatment is over and the braces are removed, some dental professionals recommend waiting six months before taking any steps to correct stained teeth. Often your saliva will be enough to reduce the intensity of these marks once it reaches the tooth surfaces that were originally covered by braces. After enough time has passed, however, you can use over-the-counter (OTC) tooth-whitening products. Professional whitening processes such as in-office bleaching can help to provide a more even result, and after one or two treatments you should find mild stains disappear completely.
Protecting yourself from the presence of plaque in the first place is the most effective way to avoid stained teeth from braces, and optimize good oral health.
Although sturdy, stable and advanced, braces are orthodontic appliances that you need to treat with care. That means eating foods that are gentle on the brackets and wires that hold your braces together and in place. Generally, avoid all foods that are sticky, hard, or chewy. Soft foods are most recommended for those who wear braces because they are simply easier on your mouth hardware.
Read our list of foods to avoid
Foods to Avoid When Wearing Braces

  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • Sticky and hard candy
  • Gum
  • Ice
  • Corn chips
  • Pretzels
  • Hard cookies or crackers
  • Sticky or hard chocolate

Also avoid biting into hard foods with your front teeth. Cut or break up hard foods such as:
  • Raw vegetables
  • Croutons
  • French/Italian bread
  • Fruit
  • Hard rolls
  • Thin crust pizza
  • Meat
  • Burgers
  • Sub sandwiches
  • Corn on the cob

Maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet is important for everyone’s teeth and overall health. The healthier you are, the better the results of your orthodontic treatment because a proper diet provides all the essential nutrients to bones and tissues undergoing change.
Request an Orthodontist Consultation
If you’re ready to get started, visit our Locations page to find our dental clinic near you. Call the clinic of your choice and tell them you’re interested in a consultation with an orthodontist. You may also Request an Appointment here.


Q: What is preventive orthodontic treatment?

A: Preventive orthodontic treatment is intended to keep a malocclusion (“bad bite” or crooked teeth) from developing in an otherwise normal mouth. The goal is to provide adequate space for permanent teeth to come in. Treatment may require a space maintainer to hold space for a primary (baby) tooth lost too early or removal of primary teeth that do not come out on their own in order to to create room for permanent teeth.


Q: What is interceptive orthodontic treatment?

A: Interceptive orthodontic treatment is performed for problems that, if left untreated, could lead to the development of more serious dental problems over time. The goal is to reduce the severity of a developing problem and eliminate the cause. The length of later comprehensive orthodontic treatment may be reduced. Examples of this kind of orthodontic treatment may include correction of thumb- and finger-sucking habits; guiding permanent teeth into desired positions through tooth removal or tooth size adjustment; or gaining or holding space for permanent teeth. Interceptive orthodontic treatment can take place when patients have primary teeth or mixed dentition (baby and permanent teeth). A patient may require more than one phase of interceptive orthodontic treatment.


Q: What is comprehensive orthodontic treatment?

A: Comprehensive orthodontic treatment is undertaken for problems that involve alignment of the teeth, how the jaws function and how the top and bottom teeth fit together. The goal of comprehensive orthodontic treatment is to correct the identified problem and restore the occlusion (the bite) to its optimum. Treatment can begin while patients have primary teeth, when they have a mix of primary and permanent teeth, or when all permanent teeth are in. Treatment may consist of one or more phases, depending on the nature of the problem being corrected and the goals for treatment. Orthodontic care may be coordinated with other types of dental treatment that may include oral surgery (tooth extractions or jaw surgery), periodontal (gum) care and restorative (fillings, crowns, bridges, tooth size enhancement, implants) dental care. When finished with comprehensive treatment, the patient must wear retainers to keep teeth in their new positions.


Q: What is a space maintainer?

A: Baby molar teeth, also known as primary molar teeth, hold needed space for permanent teeth that will come in later. When a baby molar tooth is lost, an orthodontic device with a fixed wire is usually put between teeth to hold the space for the permanent tooth.


Q: Why do baby teeth sometimes need to be removed?

A: Removing baby teeth may be necessary to allow severely crowded permanent teeth to come in at a normal time in a reasonably normal location. If the teeth are severely crowded, it may be that some unerupted permanent teeth (usually the canine teeth) will either remain impacted (teeth that should come in, but do not) or come in to a highly undesirable position. To allow severely crowded teeth to move on their own into much more desirable positions, sequential removal of baby teeth and permanent teeth (usually first premolars) can dramatically improve a severe crowding problem. This sequential extraction of teeth, called serial extraction, is typically followed by comprehensive orthodontic treatment after eruption of permanent teeth has brought about as much improvement as it can on its own. After all the permanent teeth have come in, the extraction of selected permanent teeth may be necessary to correct crowding or to make space for necessary tooth movement to correct a bite problem. Proper extraction of teeth during orthodontic treatment should leave the patient with both excellent function and a pleasing look.


Q: How can a child's growth affect orthodontic treatment?

A: Orthodontic treatment and a child’s growth can complement each other. A common orthodontic problem to treat is protrusion of the upper front teeth. Quite often this problem is due in part to the lower jaw being shorter than the upper jaw. Upper teeth may also be the primary cause of the protrusion if they stick out too far. While the upper and lower jaws are growing, orthodontic appliances can be beneficial in reducing these discrepancies. A severe jaw growth discrepancy may require orthodontics and corrective surgery after jaw growth has been completed, although this is rare. The AAO recommends that all children have a checkup with an orthodontist no later than age 7 so that growth-related problems can be identified and so that treatment can be commenced at the appropriate time for each patient.


Q: What kinds of orthodontic appliances are typically used to reduce the severity of jaw-growth problems?

A: A process of dentofacial orthopedics (guiding the growth of the face and jaws) with orthodontic appliances may be used to correct jaw-growth problems. The decision about when and which appliances to use for this type of correction is based on each individual patient's problem. Some of the more common orthopedic appliances include:

  • Fixed functional appliance: The appliance is usually fixed (glued) to the upper and lower molar teeth and may not be removed by the patient. By holding the lower jaw forward, it reduces the protrusion of the teeth while the patient is growing and helps bring the teeth together. The appliance can help correct severe protrusion of the upper teeth.
  • Headgear: This appliance applies pressure to the upper teeth and upper jaw to guide the direction of upper jaw growth and tooth eruption. The headgear may be removed by the patient and is usually worn 10 to 12 hours per day.
  • Palatal expansion appliance: The appliance is usually fixed (glued) to the upper and lower molar teeth and may not be removed by the patient. By holding the lower jaw forward, it reduces the protrusion of the teeth while the patient is growing and helps bring the teeth together. The appliance can help correct severe protrusion of the upper teeth.


Q: Can my child play sports while wearing braces?

A: Yes. But wearing a protective mouth guard is advised while riding a bike, skating,or playing any contact sports, whether organized sports or a neighborhood game. Your orthodontist can recommend a specific mouth guard.


Q: Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?

A: Playing wind or brass instruments, such as the trumpet, will clearly require some adaptation to braces. With practice and a period of adjustment, braces typically do not interfere with the playing of musical instruments.


Q: Why does orthodontic treatment time sometimes last longer than anticipated?

A: Estimates of treatment time can only be that – estimates. Patients grow at different rates and will respond in their own ways to orthodontic treatment. The orthodontist has specific treatment goals in mind and will usually continue treatment until these goals are achieved. Patient cooperation, however, is the single best predictor of staying on time with treatment. Patients who cooperate by wearing rubber bands, headgear or other needed appliances as directed, while taking care not to damage appliances, will most often lead to on-time and excellent treatment results.


Q: What is patient cooperation and how important is it during orthodontic treatment?

A: Good “patient cooperation” means that the patient not only follows the orthodontist’s instructions on wearing appliances as prescribed and tending to oral hygiene and diet, but is also an active partner in orthodontic treatment. Successful orthodontic treatment is a “two-way street” that requires a consistent, cooperative effort by both the orthodontist and patient. To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must carefully clean his or her teeth, wear rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed by the orthodontist, avoid foods that might damage braces and keep appointments as scheduled. Damaged appliances can lengthen the treatment time and may undesirably affect the outcome of treatment. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their desired positions if the patient consistently wears the forces to the teeth, such as rubber bands, as prescribed. Patients who do their part consistently make themselves look good and their orthodontist look smart.


Q: What is two-phase treatment?

A: Two-phase treatment simply means that the treatment is carried out in two stages. The first is the interceptive orthodontic phase (see above) and the second is the comprehensive orthodontic phase (see above).


Q: Some of my children’s friends have already started treatment, but our orthodontist says my child should wait a while. Why is there a difference in treatment?

A: Each treatment plan is specific for that child and his/her specific problem. In some cases, children mature early (e.g.: get their permanent teeth early) and in some cases early treatment is indicated to prevent a more severe problem from occurring. Your orthodontist is the best person to decide the most optimum treatment plan. If you have questions, you should discuss them with your orthodontist.


Q: What do the initials mean after an orthodontist’s name?

A: The initials after an orthodontist’s name indicate the academic education of the orthodontist. For instance, DMD and DDS indicate that the individual is a graduate dentist.


Q: How can I fit the orthodontist’s fee into my family budget?

A: Orthodontic costs and payment options can be discussed with your treating orthodontist. Your orthodontist will be able to provide you with information about insurance and other possible funding options.


Q: How do braces feel?

A: Most people have some discomfort after their braces are first put on or when adjusted during treatment. After the braces are on, teeth may become sore and may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Patients can usually manage this discomfort well with whatever pain medication they might commonly take for a headache. The orthodontist will advise patients and/or their parents what, if any, pain relievers to take. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. Orthodontic wax applied to an offending bracket will help relieve discomfort. Overall, orthodontic discomfort is short-lived and easily managed. Once patients have become accustomed to their braces, they may even forget they have them on.


Q: Do teeth with braces need special care?

A: Yes. Patients with braces must be careful to avoid hard, sticky, chewy and crunchy foods. They must not chew on pens, pencils or fingernails because chewing on hard things can damage the braces. Damaged braces will almost always cause treatment to take longer and will require extra trips to the orthodontist’s office.Keeping the teeth and braces clean requires more precision and time and must be done every day if the teeth and gums are to be healthy during and after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. The orthodontist and staff will teach patients how to care for their teeth, gums and braces during treatment. The orthodontist will tell patients (and/or their parents) how often to brush, how often to floss and, if necessary, suggest other cleaning aids that might help the patient maintain good dental health.
A good reason to keep teeth, gums and braces clean during orthodontic treatment is that clean, healthy teeth move more quickly! This will help keep treatment time as short as possible. Patients who are active in contact sports, whether in organized programs or just games in the neighborhood, should wear a mouth guard. Talk with your orthodontist about the kind of mouth guard to use while braces are on.


Q: What is patient cooperation and how important is it during orthodontic treatment?

A: Good “patient cooperation” means that the patient not only follows the orthodontist’s instructions on oral hygiene and diet, but is also an active partner in orthodontic treatment. Successful orthodontic treatment is a "two-way street" that requires a consistent, cooperative effort by both the orthodontist and patient. To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must carefully clean his or her teeth, wear rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed by the orthodontist, avoid foods that might damage braces and keep appointments as scheduled. Damaged appliances can lengthen the treatment time and may undesirably affect the outcome of treatment. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their desired positions if the patient consistently wears the forces to the teeth, such as rubber bands, as prescribed. Patients who do their part consistently make themselves look good and their orthodontist look smart.


Q: How long does treatment take?

A: Although every case is different, generally speaking, patients wear braces from one to three years. Treatment times vary with factors that include the severity of the problem, patient growth, gum and bone response to tooth-moving forces and how well the patient follows the orthodontist's instructions on dental hygiene, diet and appliance wear (patient cooperation). Patients who brush and floss thoroughly and regularly; avoid hard, sticky, crunchy and sticky foods; wear their rubber bands and/or headgear as instructed; and keep their appointments usually finish treatment on time with good results. After the braces are removed, most patients wear a retainer for some time to keep or “retain” the teeth in their new positions. The orthodontist will determine how long the retainer needs to be worn. Most patients remain under the orthodontist’s supervision during the retention phase to ensure that the teeth stay properly aligned.


Q: Why are retainers needed after orthodontic treatment?

A: After braces are removed, the teeth can shift out of position if they are not stabilized. Retainers are designed to hold teeth in their corrected, ideal positions until the bones and gums adapt to the treatment changes. Wearing retainers exactly as instructed is the best insurance that the treatment improvements last longer. It is normal for teeth to change with increasing age.


Q: Will tooth alignment change later?

A: Studies have shown that as people age, their teeth may shift. This variable pattern of gradual shifting, called maturational change, probably slows down after the early 20s, but still continues to a degree throughout a lifetime for most people. Even children whose teeth developed into ideal alignment and bite without treatment may develop orthodontic problems as adults. The most common maturational change is crowding of the lower incisor (front) teeth. Wearing retainers as instructed after orthodontic treatment will stabilize the correction and can prevent most of this change.


Q: What about the wisdom teeth (third molars) – should they be removed?

A: Research suggests that wisdom teeth do not necessarily cause teeth to shift. In most cases, removal of wisdom teeth is done for general dental health reasons rather than for orthodontic health. Your orthodontist, in consultation with your family dentist, can provide guidance regarding removal of wisdom teeth.


Q: What happens to teeth and gums if they are not kept clean during orthodontic treatment?

A: Teeth can develop white spots, called “decalcification,” when an individual’s teeth are susceptible or when oral hygiene has been poor. If plaque is not regularly removed, the patient can develop gum disease. This is why the orthodontist, orthodontic staff, the dentist and dental hygienist stress dental hygiene – for the good of the patient’s dental health.


Q: What can I do to get my braces off sooner?

A: Follow the instructions your orthodontist gives you with regard to oral hygiene (keeping your teeth and gums clean) and wearing your appliances (e.g.: elastics, headgear, etc.). Your cooperation may help speed up your treatment.


Q: What will I look like with braces on?

A: Much will depend on the kind of braces used for your treatment. Many patients have silver-colored brackets and wires while others may have tooth-colored brackets or clear plastic aligners. Braces are much less noticeable today than they were when each tooth had a metal band around it..


Q: Do you have any suggestions on what foods I CAN eat?

A: Choose foods that are softer. Right after you get braces or whenever they are adjusted, you may want foods that require little or no chewing.


Q: What happens if something breaks?

A: If a portion of the appliance breaks, let your orthodontist know so that arrangements can be made for repairs.


Q: Can orthodontic treatment do for me what it does for children?

A: Yes. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Many orthodontic problems can be corrected as easily for adults as for children. Orthodontic forces move the teeth in the same way for both adults and children, but adult treatment may take longer due to the maturity of the bone. Complicating factors, such as lack of jaw growth, may create different treatment planning needs for the adult. This is why a consultation with an orthodontist, the dental specialist who aligns teeth and jaws of patients of all ages, is essential.


Q: How does adult treatment differ from that of children and adolescents?

A: Adults are not growing and may have experienced some breakdown or loss of their teeth and the bone that supports the teeth. Orthodontic treatment may then be only a part of the patient's overall treatment plan. Close coordination may be required among the orthodontist, oral surgeon, periodontist, endodontist and family dentist to ensure that the treatment plan is managed well. Below are the most common characteristics that can cause adult treatment to differ from that of children.
No jaw growth:Jaw discrepancy problems, including both width and length, in the adult patient may require jaw surgery. For example, if an adult’s lower jaw is too short to match properly with the upper jaw, a severe bite problem results. The amount that the teeth can be moved in some cases, with braces alone, may not correct this problem. Establishing a proper bite relationship could require jaw surgery, which would lengthen the lower jaw and bring the lower teeth forward into the proper bite.
Gum or bone loss (periodontal breakdown):Adults are more likely to have experienced damage or loss of the gum and bone supporting their teeth (periodontal disease). Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. The word periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Many people are unaware that they have gum disease because there is usually little or no pain.
Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes inflammation in the gums. The mildest form of the disease is called gingivitis. The gums redden, swell and bleed easily. Gingivitis is often linked to inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is often reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care. Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body, in essence, turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
The good news is that teeth that are properly aligned are less prone to gum disease. Special treatment by the patient’s dentist or a periodontist may be necessary before, during and/or after orthodontic treatment. Bone loss can also limit the amount and direction of tooth movement that is advisable. Adults who have a history of or concerns about periodontal disease might also see a periodontist (a dental specialist who treats diseases of the gums and bone) on a regular basis throughout orthodontic treatment.
Worn, damaged or missing teeth:Worn, damaged or missing teeth can make orthodontic treatment more difficult. Teeth may gradually wear and move into positions where they can be restored only after precise orthodontic movement. Damaged or broken teeth may not look good or function well even after orthodontic treatment unless they are carefully restored by the patient's dentist. Extra space resulting from missing teeth that are not replaced may cause progressive tipping and drifting of other teeth, which worsens the bite, increases the potential for periodontal problems and makes any treatment more difficult.


Q: I have painful jaw muscles and jaw joints – can an orthodontist help?

A: One of the problems commonly associated with jaw muscle and jaw joint discomfort is bruxism , that is, habitual grinding or clenching of the teeth, particularly at night. Bruxism is a muscle habit pattern that can cause severe wearing of the teeth and overloading and trauma to the jaw joint structures. Chronically or acutely sore and painful jaw muscles may accompany the bruxing habit. An orthodontist can help diagnose this problem. Your family dentist or orthodontist may place a bite splint or nightguard appliance that can protect the teeth and help jaw muscles relax, substantially reducing the original pain symptoms. Sometimes structural damage can require joint surgery and/or restoration of damaged teeth. Referral to a TMJ specialist may be suggested for some of these problems.


Q: My family dentist said I need to have some missing teeth replaced, but I need orthodontic treatment first – why?

A: Your dentist is probably recommending orthodontics so that he or she might treat you in the best manner possible to bring you to optimal dental health. Many complicated tooth restorations, such as crowns, bridges and implants, can be best accomplished when the remaining teeth are properly aligned and the bite is correct. When permanent teeth are lost, it is common for the remaining teeth to drift, tip or shift. This movement can create a poor bite and uneven spacing that cannot be restored properly unless the missing teeth are replaced. Tipped teeth usually need to be straightened so they can withstand normal biting pressures in the future.


Q: My orthodontist wants to do something called enamel stripping to make my teeth smaller. I have never heard of this. Is this something new? Is it safe?

A: This procedure goes by many names: enamel stripping; interproximal reduction; slenderizing; reproximation and selective reduction. The goal is to remove some of the outer tooth surface (enamel) to acquire more space for your teeth. The procedure has been used in orthodontic treatment since the 1940s and has been shown to be safe and effective. Some studies among patients who have had this procedure show that it neither makes teeth more susceptible to tooth decay nor does it predispose patients to gum disease.


Q: How Do Braces Work?

A: In their entirety, braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bone changes shape as pressure is applied.
Braces are made up of the following components:
Brackets are the small squares that are bonded directly to the front of each tooth with a special dental bonding agent or are attached to orthodontic bands. Brackets act like handles, holding the arch wires that move the teeth. There are several types of brackets, including stainless steel and tooth-colored ceramic or plastic, which are often selected because they’re less obvious. Occasionally, brackets are cemented to the back of teeth, in order to hide them from view
Orthodontic bands are stainless steel, clear, or tooth-colored materials that are cemented to the teeth with dental bonding agents. They wrap around each tooth to provide an anchor for the brackets. The clear or tooth-colored bands are more cosmetically appealing options but are more expensive than stainless steel. They are not used in all patients. Some people have only brackets and no bands.
Spacers are separators that fit between teeth to create a small space prior to placement of orthodontic bands.
Arch wires attach to the brackets and act as tracks to guide the movement of the teeth. Arch wires can be made of metal or be clear or tooth-colored.
Ties are small rubber rings or fine wires that fasten the arch wire to the brackets.They can be clear, metal, or colored.
A buccal tube on the band of the last tooth holds the end of the arch wire securely in place.
Tiny elastic rubber bands, called ligatures, hold the arch wires to the brackets.
Springs may be placed on the arch wires between brackets to push, pull, open, or close the spaces between teeth.
Two bands on the upper teeth may have headgear tubes on them to hold the facebow of the headgear in place. (A headgear is another tool used by orthodontists to aid in correcting irregularities of the teeth; see below)
Elastics or rubber bands attach to hooks on brackets and are worn between the upper and lower teeth in various ways. They apply pressure to move the upper teeth against the lower teeth to achieve a perfect fit of individual teeth.
Facebow headgear is the wire gadget that is used to move the upper molars back in the mouth to correct bite discrepancies and also to create room for crowded teeth. The facebow consists of an inner metal part shaped like a horseshoe that goes in the mouth, attaching to buccal tubes, and an outer part that goes around the outside of the face and is connected to a headgear strap.
Newer “mini-braces,” which are much smaller than traditional braces, may be an option for some. There is another method of straightening teeth that uses removable plastic retainers that may also work when crowding of the teeth is not too severe. Your orthodontist will discuss the various types of braces with you and determine which might be the best option for your situation.


Q: How Often Will I Need to See the Orthodontist During Treatment?

A: Your orthodontist will want to see you about every month or so in order to make sure the braces are exerting steady pressure on the teeth. To create more tension and pressure on your teeth, the orthodontist will make adjustments in the wires, springs, or rubber bands of the braces. In some cases, braces alone aren't enough to straighten the teeth or shift the jaw. In these situations, an external appliance, such as headgear, may need to be worn at home in the evening or through the night. In Deccan dental clinic we fix appointment one month prior according to patient convenience.


Q: What Care Can I Expect After the Braces Come Off?

A: After braces are taken off, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned. Your orthodontist may want to take another set of X-rays and bite impressions to check how well the braces straightened your teeth and to see if any wisdom teeth have developed. If wisdom teeth are beginning to come in after braces have been removed, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend the wisdom teeth be pulled to prevent newly straightened teeth from shifting.DrPriyanka Navale will take your follow up every six month after taking out braces for two year.