Here at Daniel Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer personalized care for patients of all ages from our Little Rock, Bryant, and Benton offices. For more than 30 years, we’ve witnessed firsthand how treatment can transform smiles and lives, and we’re able to achieve that by combining cutting-edge technology with the latest in orthodontic techniques. As the patient, you play a starring role in the treatment process, too, especially when it comes to caring for your smile between orthodontic appointments.
When you begin your orthodontic journey with us, you’ll receive several recommendations and guidelines from Dr. Daniel and Dr. Jones. These will help us achieve the best results in the shortest amount of time, depending on how well you follow them. Compliance is key! If you’re non-compliant, it can interrupt or add additional time to your treatment plan. If this goes on long enough, it can even impact your final results.
Thankfully, there are plenty of easy ways for you to avoid any delay and ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout the treatment process. We’re sharing some of our favorite tips on how to keep your smile in the tip-top shape below! Keep reading to learn more.
Brush up on brushing and flossing
We should all be aiming for good oral hygiene, but this is especially important for orthodontic patients. If you wear braces, you already know that brushing and flossing effectively can take some extra effort. The brackets and wires are often tricky to navigate, especially in the early days, and they also make it easy for food particles to become trapped against the teeth.
If this debris isn’t brushed or flossed away, plaque and bacteria can build up, increasing your risk of developing various dental issues. To get the most out of your oral hygiene routine, try following these simple guidelines.
- Brush after every meal and snack. If you wear braces, be sure to brush around each part of them.
- If you can’t brush right away, rinse with water to help dislodge any stray food particles.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoridated toothpaste.
- Brush gently at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line, moving the toothbrush across every surface of every tooth to effectively remove bacteria and any debris.
- Floss every night before bed to remove bacteria and any food that has accumulated throughout the day. Use tools like floss threaders and Waterpiks to clean hard-to-reach areas.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if you have a cold or any other illness.
- Use antimicrobial and fluoride mouthwashes to help further improve your oral health.
Healthy habits for our Invisalign patients
Oral hygiene tends to be easier with clear aligners, but there are still some things you need to keep in mind as an Invisalign patient! In addition to maintaining your oral health, you’re responsible for caring for your aligners. Remember to always wash your hands before taking aligners out and putting them back in your mouth. Rinse your aligner any time you remove it and use a cleaning solution with lukewarm water at least twice a day. If you notice any gunky build-up, you can soak your aligners in a retainer or denture cleaner to remove it.
Extreme temperatures of any kind can cause your aligners to warp and lose their natural shape, so you should never leave them in a hot car or rinse them in very hot or very cold water. You should also always be aware of where your aligners are when they’re not in your mouth. Store them in an approved case if you aren’t wearing them to keep your aligners free from bacteria and germs. This will keep your mouth clean and healthy, too!
Schedule regular checkups with your dentist
Every treatment plan will include follow-up visits with your orthodontist to make any necessary adjustments and check on your progress. You should continue to schedule regular checkups with your dentist during this time, too! Throughout the orthodontic process, you’re under our care, but your dentist is still considered your primary oral health physician. As such, they’re responsible for helping you maintain a healthy mouth and identifying any possible dental issues. We encourage our Daniel Orthodontics patients to see their dentist once every six months for the best results.
Keep your smile looking good on the go
Orthodontic issues can come up on occasion, which can be frustrating if you’re on the go! Stay prepared for any potential problems by putting together a “care kit” that contains essential items like:
- a soft-bristled toothbrush
- a small tube of fluoride toothpaste
- dental floss or ortho picks
- orthodontic wax if you wear braces
- extra rubber bands
- lip balm
- a small cup for rinsing with water
- an unsharpened pencil (use the eraser end to push stray wires back into place)
Throw this bag in your backpack or purse to handle any issues that pop in between appointments! Remember to get in touch with us if you experience a real orthodontic emergency, though. Dr. Daniel or Dr. Jones will assess the situation and let you know what steps you need to take next.
Give your smile a boost with expert care from Daniel Orthodontics
As we mentioned above, good oral health is something we should all strive for, but it’s an essential part of any treatment plan! Following the tips above and the guidelines Dr. Daniel and Dr. Jones give you will keep your treatment on track. Before you know it, we’ll be revealing your beautiful new smile!
Do you have any questions or concerns about your orthodontic care? Want to learn more about improving your oral hygiene? Get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE consultation or follow-up appointment with our expert team in Little Rock, Bryant, or Benton!