Here at Dietrich Orthodontics, we’re 100% committed to giving you beautifully straight teeth to make your unique smile shine. Orthodontic treatment is an investment in yourself that will pay off for years. Our team is here to walk you through the treatment process each step of the way, but we can’t do all of the work. While our world-class care and state-of-the-art technology can help you achieve a healthier smile, another necessary ingredient for success is you!
If you’re looking for the best and most stable results (and who isn’t?), patient compliance is non-negotiable. Following Dr. Dietrich’s guidelines and taking care of your smile at home will help us give you exceptional results in the shortest amount of time possible. On the flip side, non-compliance can negatively affect your progress and lead to longer treatment times. With that in mind, let’s look at how you can keep your teeth and gums in great shape throughout your orthodontic journey! Keep reading to learn more.
Show your oral hygiene routine some TLC
Orthodontic patients, just as all individuals, are more prone to dental issues like cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. This can interrupt or delay your treatment plan and impact your final results. That’s why it’s so essential to maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine!
Keeping your teeth clean can take a little extra effort if you have braces since the brackets and wires make it easy for food particles to get trapped. If these aren’t brushed or flossed away, plaque and bacteria can build up and cause problems. To get the most out of brushing and flossing, stick to these 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 debris.
- 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.
Ideally, we like to see patients brushing 3-4 times daily or after every meal and snack. If you cannot brush immediately after eating, swish some water in your mouth to help loosen any rogue food particles and freshen your mouth.
Schedule regular visits with your dentist
Follow-up visits with Dr. Dietrich are an essential part of the treatment process. But regular appointments with your dentist are just as important during this time. Although you’re under our care while we straighten your smile, your dentist is still your primary oral health physician. That means they’re responsible for helping you maintain healthy teeth and gums, identify potential issues, and keep your mouth healthy before, during, and after orthodontic treatment. We encourage you to see your dentist once every six months to keep your teeth healthy.
Create an on-the-go “care kit.”
It’s not uncommon to encounter minor orthodontic “emergencies” from time to time. They can be frustrating if they happen while you’re out and about, so you can stay prepared by creating a “care kit” to keep with you on the go. Include essential items like:
- a soft-bristled toothbrush
- a small tube of fluoride toothpaste
- dental floss or ortho picks
- orthodontic wax
- extra rubber bands
- lip balm
- a small cup for rinsing with water
- an unsharpened pencil (you can use the eraser end to push stray wires back into place)
Throw everything together in a portable bag, then pop it in your purse or backpack so you’ll have everything you need in an emergency. Get in touch with our team if you experience a real orthodontic emergency so Dr. Dietrich can assess the situation and let you know your next steps.
Keep your smile looking its best with Dietrich Orthodontics.
Good oral hygiene isn’t just for orthodontic patients. We should all be striving for a healthy smile! It does take on some extra importance when you’re in braces, though. Following the tips above will help you keep your smile in excellent shape while we work to straighten it!
Do you have any questions or concerns about your orthodontic care? Would you like to learn more about how you can improve your oral health? Get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE consultation or follow-up appointment with Dr. Dietrich in Canton or Alliance. We’re here to keep your smile looking and feeling fantastic!