After a year full of changes and adjustments, it’s refreshing to have some sense of normalcy return to our daily lives. While we’re starting to get out-and-about again, we’re still taking steps to keep our patients, their families, and our team safe and healthy! That being said, you may be wondering what visiting the orthodontist in 2021 will look like. Dr. Yu and the team are here to help!
Here at Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics, we want to remind you how important your oral health is to your total body health. Now more than ever, we should all be taking precautions to ensure we stay safe and healthy. Let’s take a look at orthodontic care in 2021!
Never Miss an Appointment
If you’re a current patient, you already know that follow-up visits are scheduled for every 6-8 weeks with our office. 2020 was a year full of temporary closings, rescheduled appointments, and overall uncertainty. This year we’re hopeful that everything will get back on track, including regular visits to check that your treatment is progressing as planned!
No matter what appliance you’re using, these check-ups are an essential part of your treatment plan and help ensure you get the best results in the least amount of time. These adjustments are usually pretty quick and we’ll always do our best to accommodate your schedule.
While you’re going through the treatment process with us, make sure to check in with your regular dentist, too! Routine visits to the dentist throughout the year can help prevent oral disease and may catch an existing issue in the early stages. Plan to see your dentist every six months, so your oral health can be closely monitored. This will allow us to develop a combined treatment plan with your dentist if necessary.
Protect Yourself and Others
It’s important to keep the health and safety of those around you in mind when preparing for your next appointment. Thankfully, we’ve all learned some easy, effective ways to do just that! One of the most common recommendations from experts is to wear a mask any time you’re in public or around people who don’t live with you. Our team members wear masks throughout the day and we ask that our patients wear theirs, too!
We’re continuing to practice social distancing in our Portland and Windham offices. Maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others whenever possible. This is an easy way to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses and keep you safe. We also ask that you brush your teeth at home before your visit and wash your hands or use sanitizer upon arrival.
Wash with soap and water for 20 seconds when you come in for your appointment. We’ll also have hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to use any time you need it. The less chance we give germs to multiply and spread, the better off we’ll all be!
Maintain Your Dental Hygiene Between Visits
Even in a pandemic, many of us still have busy schedules. Whether we’re working from home and doing virtual school or still making the same commute to the office, it’s easy to get a little complacent with our oral hygiene routine. While it’s important for everyone to practice good oral care, it’s even more important if you’re an orthodontic patient!
If you’re wearing braces, you probably already know that it can take some creative maneuvering to get around the brackets and wires. For the best results, you should always:
- use fluoride toothpaste with a soft toothbrush
- replace your toothbrush as soon as it begins to show signs of wear
- brush around every part of your braces and every surface of your teeth
- brush until your brackets are clean and shiny
- floss every night before you go to bed
- use tools like floss threaders and Waterpiks to clean hard-to-reach areas
Whether you’re wearing traditional braces or clear aligners, there are some dental hygiene basics you should always maintain. Doing so will keep your mouth squeaky clean and free of plaque! These basics include:
- brushing at least three to four times a day, after each meal and once before bed, using a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste
- brushing gently at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line, moving the toothbrush across the teeth to effectively remove bacteria and any trapped food particles
- flossing at least once per day to remove bacteria and any food that has accumulated throughout the day
- replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if you have a cold or any other illness
- using antimicrobial and fluoride mouthwashes to help further improve your oral health
Daily brushing and flossing will not only help prevent tooth decay and gum disease but keep your breath fresh as well!
Eat Healthy & Avoid Chewing on Objects or Ice
Maintaining a healthy diet of nutritious foods is important at any time, but especially during the orthodontic treatment process. Your teeth are more susceptible to cavities when you’re wearing braces, so cutting back on things like sugar and soda is one of the best things you can do for your smile in 2021!
Sugar is a carbohydrate and carbs provide the bacteria on your teeth with fuel that allows acids to develop. These acids are what cause tooth decay and cavities to form. This would be bad enough on teeth without braces, but add in brackets and wires and you’ve got multiple places for bacteria to hide and multiply.
Another easy way to keep your mouth in tip-top shape is to increase your daily water intake. Saliva plays an important role in keeping your mouth clean, and drinking water frequently helps encourage saliva production. It also helps flush food particles from your braces and in between your teeth. This year, try keeping cans of soda to a minimum and invest in a reusable water bottle instead!
Embrace Your Smile with Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics
Over the past year, we’ve seen our community come together like never before! Our team has got you covered this year, too, so if you need a little extra help or encouragement, we’re here for you. We’re looking forward to 2021 and are excited to have you be a part of it with us.
If you’re ready for your next orthodontic visit, contact our team and we’ll schedule your appointment at our office in Portland or Windam. We can’t wait to help you achieve your oral health goals!