Here at Freelove Orthodontics, we’re committed to providing family-oriented orthodontic care for patients of all ages and want to help you take care of your smile at home. Our experienced team, cutting-edge technology, and innovative treatments allow us to create beautiful smiles for patients throughout Kent, Washington, and the surrounding area. However, there’s something else we rely on for success- you! Patient compliance is essential throughout the treatment process, and these tips for taking care of your smile at home can help ensure the best results in the shortest amount of time.
If you’re already a patient with Dr. Cameron Freelove, you already know that non-compliance can stall your progress. Dental issues like cavities and gum disease can interrupt or delay your treatment plan, which 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 in-between visits to our office.
Maintain a good dental hygiene routine
It is important to maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine, especially for patients currently in orthodontic treatment. This can take a little extra effort if you wear braces since the brackets and wires make it easy for food particles to get trapped against your teeth. If you do not brush or floss these away, plaque and bacteria can build up, making you more susceptible to dental issues. To get the most out of brushing and flossing, stick to guidelines like these–
- Brush after EVERY meal and snack- pay extra attention to your brackets if you have braces
- If you can’t brush right away, rinse with water or mouthwash to dislodge any food
- Use an electric toothbrush or a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Use toothpaste with fluoride
- Floss every night before bed- floss threaders or a Waterpik can help get those hard-to-reach spots
- Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3-4 months, or sooner if you notice excessive wear or have a cold or illness pop up
Avoid bad habits that can harm your teeth
When it comes to your smile, the habits you stay away from are just as important as the ones you live by! There are quite a few harmful oral habits that can leave you with results that are less than satisfying. Avoid chewing on things like pen caps or pencils, and NEVER use your teeth as a tool. If you find yourself grinding your teeth, be sure to mention this to your orthodontist, as it can lead to more serious problems down the road. To keep you maintain a strong, healthy smile, follow these tips–
- Relax your face– “Lips together, teeth apart”
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid all gum chewing
- Chew foods evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
- Practice good posture- keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
- Do not cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder
Create a ‘Care Kit’ for your braces
Whether you spend most of your time at home or are always on the go, it’s best to stay prepared for any minor orthodontic emergencies that might arise. An easy way to ensure what you need is where you need it when you need it is to create a portable care kit with some smile essentials like:
- A soft-bristled toothbrush
- Travel-sized fluoridated toothpaste
- Dental floss or floss sticks
- Orthodontic wax
- Extra rubber bands
- A mirror
- Lip balm
- A small cap for rinsing
- An unsharpened pencil to use the erase to push stray wires back into place
Throw them all together in a travel case and keep them with you so you will have everything you need no matter where you find yourself between appointments.
Follow the guidelines you are given
As a trained and experienced orthodontist, Dr. Freelove is an expert on your smile! It’s crucial that you listen to his instructions on your treatment plan. For instance, you may have elastics to wear with your braces. You should continue to change them out exactly as directed between your follow-up appointments. If you have recently completed treatment with us, don’t forget to 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 to ensure your smile doesn’t shift.
Schedule regular visits with your family dentist
We often have patients who ask if they still need to see their dentist during their orthodontic treatment, and the answer is a definite yes! You are under our care as we straighten your smile, but your dentist is still your primary oral health physician. That means they are responsible for helping you maintain healthy teeth and gums, as well as identifying any potential issues along the way.
Like adjustment appointments with Freelove Orthodontics, your dentist will use routine check-ups to ensure everything is functioning as it should be. They will 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!
Keep your smile looking and feeling good with Freelove Orthodontics!
We should all be striving for excellent oral health by maintaining a good dental hygiene routine. But this is especially important for anyone in orthodontic treatment. By following the guidelines and tips for taking care of your smile at home, you will be able to keep your mouth in the best shape as we mold your new smile to meet your smile goals!
Do you have any questions or concerns about your orthodontic care or oral hygiene routine? Check out our Facebook and Instagram, or get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation, where we can go over any and all questions you may have! At our Kent office, you’ll enjoy a comfortable and effortless experience designed for your lifestyle and smile goals. You will find the perfect method for you with a range of different treatment options. From traditional metal braces to clear aligners, Freelove Orthodontics takes pride in creating custom smiles!