Caring For Your Smile Between Orthodontic Visits

Here at Selden Orthodontics, we’re committed to providing family-oriented orthodontic care throughout Huntersville and Charlotte. Our talented team, cutting-edge technology, and innovative treatments allow us to create beautiful smiles for patients of all ages throughout our communities, but there’s something else we rely on for success—you! Patient compliance is essential throughout the treatment process. By following the guidelines you’re given and caring for your smile between orthodontic visits, you can help ensure the best results in the shortest amount of time possible! 

If you’re already a patient here, you’re aware that failure to maintain treatment guidelines can affect your progress. Even dental issues like cavities and gum disease can interrupt or delay your treatment plan. This may lead to a longer treatment time, and in severe cases, could even impact your final results! With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can keep your smile in good shape between visits with us. 

Give your dental hygiene routine some extra love

As we mentioned above, it’s essential for orthodontic patients to maintain a top-notch oral hygiene routine. This can take a little extra effort if you’re wearing braces since the brackets and wires add extra places for food particles to get trapped against the teeth. If these aren’t brushed or flossed away, plaque and bacteria can build up and make you more susceptible to dental issues. To get the most out of brushing and flossing, stick to these basic tips from Dr. Selden:

  • 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.

Schedule regular visits with your family dentist

Follow-up visits with our team are an essential part of the treatment process, but it’s important to see your dentist during this time, too! You’re under our care as we straighten your smile, but your dentist is still your primary oral health physician. That means they’re responsible for helping you maintain healthy teeth and gums, as well as identifying any potential issues. 

Like adjustment appointments with Dr. Selden, your dentist will use routine check-ups to ensure everything is functioning as it should be. They’ll also conduct a thorough examination of your mouth, and provide you with a professional cleaning. We encourage every orthodontic patient to see their family dentist once every six months to keep their smiles happy and healthy!

Follow the guidelines from your orthodontist

As a trained and experienced orthodontist, Dr. Selden is an expert on all things smile-related! It’s crucial that you listen to his instructions for your treatment plan. For example, you may have elastics to wear with your braces. You should continue to change them out exactly as directed in between your follow-up appointments. If you’ve recently completed your treatment with us, always wear your retainer as directed to keep your newly straightened smile in place. Your compliance is key to the overall success of your treatment, so stay on top of our recommendations at all times. 

Create an on-the-go care kit for your braces

After a year (or longer!) of sticking close to home, most of us are finally beginning to venture out a bit more. Stay prepared for any minor orthodontic emergencies while you’re running around town by creating a “care kit” to keep with you. Dr. Selden recommends packing it with some 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 and keep it with you so you’ll have everything you need for any problems that might pop up in between appointments.

Keep your smile looking and feeling good with Selden Orthodontics

We should all be striving for excellent oral health by maintaining a good dental hygiene routine. However, this is especially important for anyone wearing braces or clear aligners! By following the guidelines and tips we’ve listed above, you’ll be able to keep your mouth in tip-top shape as we work to straighten your smile.  

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 initial consultation or follow-up appointment with Dr. Selden and the rest of our talented team. We look forward to seeing your smile!