Braces have always been particularly effective for younger children, but recently there has been an increase in the number of adults pursuing orthodontic treatment. According to the American Dental Association, over a quarter of orthodontic patients are adults. While adjustment to misaligned teeth is easier in prepubescent children as the head and mouth are still growing, adults are more likely to experience issues with their oral health that may prevent them wearing braces. Braces put pressure on the teeth and gums and they need to be strong in order to react and heal quickly during orthodontic treatment. With the application of pioneering innovations in dental techniques, the teeth and gums can be strengthened and care for adult orthodontic patients can be improved.
STRENGTHENING TOOTH ENAMEL AND DENTIN
While having naturally soft teeth is rare, many more adults experience weakened enamel after long-term exposure to acids and sugars in the mouth throughout their lifetime.
To strengthen and protect tooth enamel, good dental hygiene can protect and even increase the mineral content of teeth, while reducing intake of sugary and acidic foods will limit enamel erosion. In addition to avoiding weakened surface enamel, dental tissues beneath the tooth surface can also be reinforced.
While a recent experiment revealed that Emdogain, an enamel matrix derivative, did not alter the microhardness of dentin, previous studies have shown it to be effective in inducing biological processes in the periodontium, as well as stimulating cells to aid in the healing and regeneration of dentin.
RESTORING BONE AND GUM TISSUE
As well as damaging teeth, the buildup of bacteria in the mouth can lead to gum disease and potentially periodontal disease if left untreated.
Periodontal disease damages the tissues and bone that support the teeth often resulting in tooth loss, and it has been estimated that over 50% of Amercians will be affected by the condition at some stage in their life. Scientists have recently been able to treat the condition by using an innovative technique to promote gum growth.
A membrane implanted between the tooth and gum stops further infection spreading from the gums and allows medication and growth factors to be delivered directly to the gum tissue.
IMPROVING ORAL HEALTH DURING ORTHODONTICS
While it is important to ensure teeth and gums are strong before orthodontic treatment begins in order to achieve optimum results, a recent study has revealed that oral hygiene practices improve during orthodontic treatment.
This is largely because patients attend regular check ups with their orthodontist and, with consistent reminders, they are more likely to adhere to the health advice and dietary instructions that they receive during their treatment and at follow-up appointments.
Braces and other orthodontic treatments require strong and healthy gums in order to be safe and effective. With the implementation of innovative dental techniques, weakened teeth, gums, and bones can be strengthened and repaired to improve oral health, reduce the risk of tooth loss, and allow for further orthodontic intervention in the future.
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Enis Yavuz on Unsplash.