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Braces are sets of wires and brackets attached to the teeth. They straighten crooked teeth and improve the way the upper and lower teeth line up.
Good daily dental care is always important, but with braces it's even more important. Plaque is a thin film of bacteria that sticks to teeth above and below the gum line. It can build up and harden into tartar. The bacteria in plaque and tartar can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Your braces' wires and brackets easily trap bits of food. Besides damage to your teeth, not cleaning well can lead to stains on your teeth after the braces come off.
After the braces come off, a removable retainer made of wire and plastic may be used to keep the teeth from drifting out of place.
Your dentist or dental hygienist will show you how to keep your teeth and braces clean.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your dentist if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: June 30, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
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