What Do Nanoparticles Have to Do With Braces?

Orthodontics just like other medical fields have been making great technologic strides. While the first thing that comes to your mind is probably old school metal braces, there is so much more going on in the world of orthodontics, especially with nanoparticles.

Orthodontics just like other medical fields have been making great technologic strides. While the first thing that comes to your mind is probably old school metal braces, there is so much more going on in the world of orthodontics, especially with nanoparticles.

You might be asking yourself, what do nanoparticles have to do with braces? Well, apparently a lot.

Nanoparticles are small insoluble particles that can be manipulated at the atomic, molecular and supra molecular level for different healthcare applications. Types of nanoparticles include Nano pores, nanowires, Nano belts, Nano rings and Nano capsules.

Nanotechnology in Orthodontics

Nanotechnology can actually be used to maintain good oral health. Silver nanoparticles in particular are useful antimicrobial agents in the manufacturing of cements and resin bases of dentures and orthodontic appliances. They can also be used in restorative dental materials like cavity liners, pit and fissure sealants and root canal posts. There has even been testing of silver nanoparticles in mouth rinses and toothpastes. Its antimicrobial abilities reduce plaque buildup around the brackets which can lead to cavities during treatment.

Nanotechnology can also help reduce the wear and tear that can happen to the mouth from the braces by reducing friction between the teeth and brackets to resolve friction. Researchers from the University Carlos III of Madrid and the Composite Group have been developing a new process that uses nanoparticles to make invisible braces more friction resistance while also maintaining the braces’ transparency.

Adding nano-coatings to arch wires and brackets can also improve the functionality of the braces. More research, however is needed on NiTi nanoparticles that can give the dental wires shape-memory and superelasticity properties. The pure NiTi particles needed are still difficult to separate out.

Ask your orthodontist about the role nanoparticles may play in your orthodontic treatment. One place you can find them is in lingual braces.

What are lingual braces?

Lingual braces are braces that are attached to the back of the teeth instead of the front making them practically invisible to the people around you. They are made up of brackets and wires like traditional braces, but because of their positioning they are more discrete.

Unfortunately there are some bite conditions that cannot be treated with lingual braces. Patients with a deep overbite are not good candidates for lingual braces because the overbite might put too much pressure on the brackets leading to the brackets falling off. During an evaluation, your orthodontist will be able to determine if lingual braces will work for you.

Another concern is that not all orthodontists offer this type of treatment. It requires special training because the wiring work is more intricate than it is with traditional treatment. Another concern is that they can be more difficult to clean properly because it is on the back of your teeth which is harder to reach.Here are some difficulties that you may experience with lingual braces:

  • You may have difficulties with speech. Because the braces are on the inside of your teeth, it will feel a little strange at first and you may experience some speech difficulty like a lisp until you get used to them. What is exactly happening is that the tongue usually hits the back of the teeth to make sounds and now it can’t. The good news is that your tongue will eventually train itself to find a different place in the mouth.
  • Because your tongue will be hitting up against the brackets, your tongue may develop sores until it get toughened up. To help with any pain or discomfort you make feel, rinse your mouth in warm saltwater or use over-the counter pain medicine that is safe to use to numb your tongue.
  • You will have food restrictions like you do with traditional metal braces. You will need to avoid foods that are hard and very crunchy and those that are very sticky. A good rule of thumb is to always cut up your food into smaller pieces before eating.

Don’t let these issues scare you away though. The technology used to create lingual braces is changing every day and getting more comfortable. Today the brackets are lot smaller and more rounded and sharp edges is not as much of an issue anymore.

Another type of invisible braces are Invisalign aligners. Invisalign aligners are clear, plastic aligners that are removable. You can easily remove them when you eat and drink and brush your teeth. The metal brackets and wires used in braces, however, remain in your mouth permanently until the orthodontist removes them.

The Invisalign 3D technology allows your orthodontist to create a step by step plan for your treatment so you will know what to expect every step of the way. The orthodontist will take x-rays and impressions of your teeth to create a 3-D image of your teeth and then uses this to map the exact movement of teeth needed to straighten them out. Once the plan is in place, your first set of aligners will be custom fit to your mouth and you will need to wear them for at least 20-22 hours a day. If you don’t wear them for the prescribed amount of time, you will risk delaying your treatment so be diligent about wearing them.The Invisalign aligners control not only control how much force is exerted on your teeth, but the timing of it.

Your aligners will be switched out every two weeks as your teeth gradually shift into better alignment so expect more frequent trips to the orthodontist.

Besides the fact that they are practically invisible and removable, other benefits of Invisalign include that there are no food restrictions because you can remove the aligners when you eat. Brushing and flossing your teeth is also easier because you can remove them. Orthodontics today is so much more advanced than you remember it, and there is still so much more possibilities to come. While overall there has been a lot of research on nanoparticles, a lot more work still needs to be done. So far though the outlook looks good for nanoparticles to be a big contributor to advancing the field of orthodontics.

To learn more about nanoparticles in orthodontics, contact Orthodontics Limited today?