Here at Feil Orthodontics, we create healthy smiles that look incredible and feel amazing. We use the latest orthodontic technology and work on perfecting our technique daily, but another element is necessary to achieve the best results—you! These tips for a healthy smile will help you maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine and help ensure that you get the straightest smile in the shortest amount of time possible. Knowing how to care for your smile between orthodontic visits is the first step!
Issues like cavities, gum disease, and noncompliance can interrupt your progress, leading to longer treatment times or subpar results. Keeping your mouth healthy and your appliance in good shape plays a large part in the success of your treatment. Let’s take a closer look at how you can brush up on the basics of oral care!
eVisit your dentist for regular checkups.
Regular visits to your dentist are an essential part of caring for your smile. Your dentist is your primary oral health provider, and they’ll help you maintain clean and healthy teeth and gums and can identify any potential issues with your dental health.
During routine checkups, your dentist will clean your teeth and examine your mouth, teeth, jaw, and gums. We encourage seeing your regular dentist once every six months for a cleaning and checkup to keep your smile in great shape.
Follow Dr. Feil’s guidelines.
Dr. Feil is a trained orthodontic expert, so you can trust what he says about your smile! For example, if you need elastics with your braces or aligners, change them as directed in between your checkups. Have you recently completed your treatment with us? Remember to wear your retainer to keep your newly straightened smile in place!
If you’re wearing aligners, we’ll give you several weeks’ worth of aligners at a time, but if your current set runs out before your next appointment, we’ll arrange to pick up the next set earlier. If you can’t get your new aligners right away, you can continue wearing the last set for 10-12 hours each day instead of the usual 20-22 hours. This will help extend the life of your aligners until an appointment is available and keep your treatment plan on track.
Limit your sugar intake
A balanced diet can help decrease your risk of developing cavities with the vitamins and nutrients to support healthy, cavity-resistant teeth. Limit sugar-heavy foods, juices, and candy that erode enamel and leave harmful bacteria. It’s okay to enjoy these things in moderation; remember to brush your teeth and rinse well afterward to wash away the sugar.
Brush and floss like a pro
Brackets and wires make it easier for food particles to become trapped, which can lead to a buildup of bacteria and plaque. This means your teeth are more susceptible to cavities when wearing braces, tooth decay, and gum disease. These can delay your treatment progress and affect your final results, so paying attention to how you’re brushing and flossing throughout your orthodontic journey is essential!
Stick to the following guidelines for healthy teeth, a bright smile, and fresh breath.
- Brush three times a day, ideally after each meal and once before bed. If you’re in braces, brush around every part of them.
- 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 trapped food particles.
- Floss every night before bed to remove bacteria and any food 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 other illness.
- Use antimicrobial and fluoride mouthwashes to help further improve your oral health.
Special tips for Aligner patients
If you’re an Aligner patient, you’ve got a bit of extra responsibility in caring for your aligners and oral health. Always rinse them off before putting them back in your mouth, and clean them well with gentle soap and cold water at least twice a day.
If you notice any buildup, you can soak your aligners in a retainer or denture cleaner to remove it. Don’t forget to keep your aligners away from any heat sources, including hot water, to avoid warping and help them maintain their natural shape.
Give your smile the best with care from Feil Orthodontics
It’s always important to take good care of your teeth and gums, but it’s an essential part of your orthodontic treatment when you’re in braces or clear aligners. By following our tips for a healthy smile, you’ll be able to boost your oral health while working towards a straighter smile!
If you have any questions or concerns about orthodontic care, our expert team is always happy to walk you through your treatment plan’s ins and outs. Want to learn more about how to care for your smile proactively? Get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE consultation or follow-up appointment with Dr. Feil in our Bismarck, Mandan, Beulah office!