We recently passed our first COVID-versary, and it’s had our team here at Serrano Orthodontics reflecting on all the challenges and triumphs we’ve seen over the last year. We couldn’t be more proud of the way our Phoenix and Chandler families have pulled together to make this pandemic more bearable. Thank you for being so patient and flexible in these uncertain times! Continue reading to learn more about orthodontic care in 2021!
Something we’ve also noticed is how difficult it’s been to really carve out any time for self-care, even though we’ve all been sticking closer to home than usual. If you’ve had trouble keeping up with your normal dental hygiene in the last several months, you’re certainly not alone. The good news is, it’s never too late to take steps to improve your oral health! With just a little effort, you can make positive changes to your routine and enjoy a healthier smile in no time.
Whether you wear braces or aligners, paying attention to your daily dental hygiene habits will make all the difference in the world to your oral health. Keep reading below for our best tips on orthodontic care in 2021!
Master the basics of brushing and flossing
Although we should all work hard to keep our teeth and gums clean and healthy, this is especially important for orthodontic patients. Brackets and wires create lots of nooks and crannies where bacteria can multiply, which leaves patients in braces particularly susceptible to cavities. We recommend brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time, but ideally, you should brush after every meal and snack to help eliminate germs and plaque.
You may not realize it, but how you brush your teeth is just as important as how often you do it. If you wear braces, be sure you carefully clean around the wires and in the areas between the brackets and gums. These are the perfect hiding places for food particles, plaque, and bacteria. If you’re having trouble cleaning these spots effectively, interdental brushes and ortho-picks can make this an easier and more efficient process.
Don’t forget to floss before bed! This is essential for good oral health. Regular flossing removes food particles from in between your teeth and will also stimulate your gums, reduce plaque build-up, and lower inflammation in the gum area.
To get the most out of your dental hygiene routine, try to stick to these simple guidelines and follow all of your orthodontist’s recommendations!
- Brush every tooth with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Be consistent when brushing across each tooth.
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle gently against the gum line.
- Brush from the base of the tooth up to the chewing surface.
- Use short, round strokes for the front and the back of teeth.
- Use short, sweeping strokes for the chewing surfaces.
- Brush the tongue and roof of the mouth from back to front.
- Replace your toothbrush every few months, or after any illness.
- Floss every night before bed.
- Use tools like interdental brushes, water flossers, and ortho-picks if needed.
Keep all your follow-up appointments (and schedule regular dental visits!)
There was a lot to deal with in 2020, from temporary closings and stay-at-home orders to rescheduled appointments. We’re hoping things are back on track for this year, and you can do your part by prioritizing your follow-up visits with our doctors. These appointments are an important part of the treatment process and are usually scheduled for every 4-8 weeks.
During these visits, one of our doctors will ensure everything is progressing the way it should be and make any necessary adjustments. We do our best to schedule them when it’s most convenient for you and your family, and they tend to be fairly brief so you can get back to your day as soon as possible.
Regular dental visits are just as essential for a healthy mouth as good oral habits are. You should plan to see your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups, especially while you’re in braces or aligners. This will not only keep your teeth and gums looking and feeling great, but they’ll also be able to pick up on any potential issues that may need to be treated. At Serrano Orthodontics, our doctors will always work with your dentist to provide you with the best oral care available.
Take extra precautions to keep yourself healthy
Since your oral health is connected to your overall health, keeping yourself protected from illnesses like COVID-19 and other viruses will help benefit your whole body—including your smile! There are several precautions you can take to avoid catching or spreading all types of sickness.
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 to help prevent the spread of germs. Social distancing still matters, however, even when you’re wearing a mask. Try to keep at least 6 feet of space between yourself and others whenever possible, and avoid indoor spaces if you can (especially if they’re crowded or poorly ventilated.)
The simplest way to keep yourself healthy is to wash your hands regularly. Any time you’ve been out in public, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Do the same when you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze. If you don’t have access to soap and water for any reason, you can use hand sanitizer, just be sure it contains at least 60% alcohol. This concentration will be enough to kill any germs on your hands.
Give your smile a chance to shine in 2021 with Serrano Orthodontics
There’s no denying the last year has been challenging in many different ways, but better days are ahead. Our team is looking forward to working with you in the coming months to give you the beautiful smile you deserve!
Whether you’re a current patient or considering treatment in our Phoenix or Chandler office, we’re here to answer any questions you may have about orthodontic care. Get in touch to talk with us or schedule your FREE consultation with our doctors today!