Orthodontic treatment is useful for aligning crooked teeth, but the orthodontic treatment process has some potential risks that you need to be aware of. An informed patient is a good patient because they can make good decisions that may prevent treatment complications. Here are some of the potential complications that may follow orthodontic treatment.
Orthodontic treatment won't give you a gum infection, but the conditions may increase your susceptibility to gum disease. First, braces can trap bits of food between your teeth and the braces. Second, cleaning your teeth becomes difficult when you have braces on. This means your oral hygiene might suffer when you get braces. To mitigate the risk, invest in a good toothbrush (your orthodontist will advise you on the best kind) and allow more time for your brushing and flossing routine than usual.
In some cases, the roots of your teeth shorten during orthodontic treatment. Extreme shortening of the roots interferes with the stability of the teeth. Root shortening is relatively rare, though its risk increases with the duration of orthodontic treatment. Follow your orthodontist's instructions to mitigate this risk.
Some people are allergic to latex, and some braces contain latex rubber. Some people are also allergic to the metals used to fashion metal braces. That means that some people suffer allergic reactions after getting braces. The best preventive measure here is to inform your orthodontist about your allergies beforehand.
Since you are not used to having foreign materials in your mouth, you are likely to feel some discomfort in the days following your orthodontic fitting. Don't forget that the braces will also be pulling or pushing on your teeth; these forces may also trigger some mild pain. The level of pain varies from person to person, but it is usually something you can take care of by taking over-the-counter pain medication.
Soft Tissue Irritation
The braces may also irritate the soft tissues in your mouth, such as your gums or cheeks. The type of braces you have will determine the nature and extent of the irritation you might experience. For example, traditional metal braces tend to trigger more irritation than clear aligners. In extreme cases, you might even develop mouth ulcers in the days following your braces fitting. In most cases, however, the irritation goes away after a few days. Rinsing your mouth with warm saline water can help to ease the irritation, and putting wax over anything sharp can help prevent it.
Some of the complications are things you can prevent, while others you just have to manage. The best thing is to follow your orthodontist's advice and seek immediate care if something seems amiss.
For more information, contact an orthodontist's office like Poulson Orthodontics.