After a year full of changes and adjustments, it’s refreshing to see some sense of normalcy returning 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 post-shutdown will look like. Dr. Ryan, Dr. Eaton, and their team are here to help!
Here at Champlain Orthodontics, we want to remind you how important oral health is to your total body health. Even as we get somewhat back to normal, we should still be taking precautions to ensure we all stay safe and healthy. Let’s take a closer look at orthodontic care in 2021!
Never Miss an Appointment
If you’re a current Champlain Orthodontics patient, you already know that follow-up visits are scheduled for every 6-8 weeks with our Williston or St. Albans office. 2020 was a year full of temporary closings, rescheduled appointments, and overall uncertainty. This year we’ve been able to get everything 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 plan around 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 your 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 Dr. Ryan and Dr. Eaton 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! Vermont State has done an amazing job reaching the 80% vaccination rate and many of the restrictions have been lifted regarding facial coverings. However, as a health professional office we are held to a different standard much like a hospital. Many of our patients and younger siblings are too young to receive the COVID vaccine, therefore we are asking everyone to wear a facial covering upon entering our office. Our team members wear masks throughout the day and we ask that our patients continue to wear theirs, too!
Maintain Your Dental Hygiene Between Visits
As we continue to adjust to life post-shutdown, many of us still have busy schedules. Whether you’re continuing to work from home and do virtual school or making your regular commute to the office, it can be easy to get complacent with your 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:
- brush around every part of your braces and every surface of your teeth
- brush until your brackets are clean and shiny
- use fluoride toothpaste with a soft toothbrush
- replace your toothbrush as soon as it begins to show signs of wear
- 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 guidelines you should always maintain. Doing so will keep your mouth squeaky clean and free of plaque! These 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 cause tooth decay and cavities to form. This would be bad enough on teeth without braces, but add brackets and wires to the mix and you’ve got multiple places for bacteria to hide and multiply.
Another easy way to keep your mouth in great 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 cutting back on cans of soda and invest in a reusable water bottle instead!
Embrace Your Smile with Champlain Orthodontics
This past year was a whirlwind of change and we’ve all had to adapt. As we continue to adjust and move forward, our Champlain Orthodontics team is always here to care for your smile! If you have any questions about visiting the orthodontist post-shutdown, don’t hesitate to reach out.
If you’re ready for your next orthodontic visit, contact our team and we’ll schedule your appointment at our office in Williston or St. Albans. We can’t wait to help you achieve your oral health goals!