Caring For Your Smile In Between Visits
Here at Feil Orthodontics, we know the power of a healthy smile. Improving your oral health can change your life for the better, and orthodontic treatment can help you achieve that! For more than a decade, our expert team has been creating beautifully aligned smiles that feel as good as they look. While Dr. Feil handles most of the hard work, you have an important role to play in the treatment process, too!
Orthodontic patients are more prone to dental problems, so it’s essential that you maintain a good oral hygiene routine. One way you can do that is by following Dr. Feil’s recommendations and guidelines. This will help you achieve the best results in the shortest amount of time possible. But when you don’t hold up your end of the treatment bargain, it can lead to more time in braces or clear aligners. In some cases, it can even affect the final results.
Fortunately, you can do many simple things to keep your teeth and gums healthy while we straighten your smile. For some easy tips on caring for your teeth during treatment, keep reading below!
The ABC’s of braces care
Braces are an excellent solution for a range of orthodontic issues, but they can also attract food debris, plaque, and bacteria. The brackets create nooks and crannies that can be difficult to clean, increasing your risk of developing cavities, tooth decay, or even gum disease during treatment.
This is why it’s so important to brush and floss effectively! Without good dental hygiene, your tooth enamel can begin losing minerals. This is an early sign of tooth decay that can leave white spots and cause some symptoms of gingivitis.
The good news is, you can often reverse these issues by adjusting your oral hygiene routine! To get the most out of brushing and flossing while you’re in braces, try following these simple guidelines!
- Brush around each part of your braces after every meal and snack.
- If you’re unable to brush right away, rinse with water to help dislodge any stray food particles.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with 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 around your braces.
- 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.
All about Invisalign
Oral hygiene may be easier with a system like Invisalign, but you still have to care for your teeth and your aligners during treatment! Start with basic hygiene: 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 build-up, you can soak your aligners in a retainer or denture cleaner to remove it.
Extreme temperatures of any kind can warp your aligners and cause them to lose their natural shape, something you should always be aware of. Never leave your Invisalign aligners in a hot car, and be sure to avoid very cold or very hot water when rinsing and cleaning them. You should also be mindful of where your aligners are when they’re not in your mouth. If you aren’t wearing them, store your aligners in an approved case to keep them clean and bacteria-free. This will keep them safe from any pets, too! (You’d be surprised how many dogs love Invisalign aligners.)
Schedule regular dental visits
You’ll be under Dr. Feil’s care throughout your orthodontic journey, but your dentist is still considered your primary oral health physician. Their job is to help you maintain a healthy mouth and identify any possible issues with your dental health. Every orthodontic treatment plan includes regular follow-up visits with Dr. Feil, so he can check everything is progressing as it should be. He’ll also make any necessary adjustments during these appointments. It’s important to continue seeing your dentist regularly as well! We encourage all of our patients to check in with their dentist once every six months or so for the best results.
Be prepared for any on-the-go issues
It’s normal for orthodontic issues to pop up from time to time. This is completely normal, but it can still be frustrating if it happens when you’re out and about! To stay prepared for any potential problems, put a “care kit” together and keep it with you when you’re on the go. Include ortho basics 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 (the eraser end can be used to push stray wires back into place)
Throw this kit in a small bag and keep it in your backpack or purse so you’ll be prepared for anything on the go! Remember to always get in touch with our team if you experience a real orthodontic emergency, though. Dr. Feil will be able to assess the situation and let you know what your next steps should be.
Keep your smile in tip-top shape with Feil Orthodontics
In a perfect world, everybody would strive for good oral health. It’s important for all of us to take care of our teeth and gums, but especially orthodontic patients. Taking good care of your teeth and gums will keep your treatment plan on track and help you achieve the best results. We hope that these tips and tricks will make that an easier process for you!
Do you have other questions or concerns about your orthodontic care? Would you like to learn more about improving your oral hygiene? Get in touch with us today! We’ll be happy to schedule a FREE consultation or follow-up appointment for you in our Bismarck, Mandan, Beulah, or Dickinson office.