Happy (almost) New Year! As we look back on a year of straight smiles, it is time to look forward to another year of success – check out these New Year’s resolutions for a healthy smile so you can start off the year on the right track!
Check Out the Orthodontic Toolkit
Every new Coppe & Sears orthodontic patient receives an orthodontic toolkit on the day they get their braces. This box of goodies includes a list of super important and effective tools to help patients take care of their braces and keep their smiles healthy. Each tool plays a unique role in their oral health outcome, helping patients clean those hard-to-reach places and giving them a pearly white smile in no time. Here is what is included:
Orthodontic Wax: Use a small amount of this helpful material to protect the cheeks and gums from irritating brackets or poky wires. In a pinch, orthodontic wax is a lifesaver!
Floss Threader – Like a needle, this tool helps patients maneuver around the wires in their mouth to floss between their teeth without a hitch.
Soft-Bristled Toothbrush – Our team recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush to capably clean the teeth without harming the appliance. The soft bristles reach between each bracket much more easily than harder bristles, making it easier to clean these tough-to-reach spaces.
Proxabrush – This tool looks almost like a pipe cleaner, and it works practically the same. The Proxabrush allows a patient to clean the spaces between brackets or wires that a toothbrush cannot reach.
Flossing Is Key
This might be one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions known to humankind. Everyone is always telling themselves they’ll start flossing, but the Coppe & Sears team believes this is the year to finally stick to it!
Flossing is key to a healthy smile, regardless of age or orthodontic condition, but it is even more important when wearing braces. With all those brackets and wires, there is a lot more surface area for that pesky plaque to gather, hide, and produce cavities. Flossing regularly will keep the teeth healthy, clean, and plaque-free all year round. Here is how to do it:
#1: Thread the dental floss through the eye of a floss threader. Floss threaders can be found at any grocery store, in your orthodontic toolkit, or by asking our team.
#2: Push the head of the floss threader under the wire and between the teeth.
#3: Remove the threader and lay it to the side. Floss each side of the tooth in a back-and-forth motion.
#4: Pick up the floss threader and repeat this step by moving to the next tooth until all the teeth are clean.
Keep Up with Follow-Up Appointments
Continuing to meet with the Coppe & Sears Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics team even after debonding day will help ensure a smile stays straight for years to come. Follow-up appointments are a great time to ask any questions about the retention phase, check to see if adjustments are needed, and generally keep up with oral care and hygiene. Do not skip these – they’re one of the keys to a great smile success story!
Maintain & Care for Retainers
For patients looking to get their braces off in 2023, the big reveal is a moment worth anticipating. Completing active treatment is a huge milestone for Coppe & Sears patients, but it does not mean the journey is over. When Dr. Sears or Dr. Donovan remove a set of brackets and wires, the patient enters a period known as retention, and it is equally as important as active treatment.
Retainers keep the teeth straight, but they only work if used correctly. Follow these tips for wearing and maintaining your retainers:
Tip #1: Any time you wear your retainer, make sure that it fits snugly over your teeth. Doing so will ensure that your retainer does its job the entire time you wear it.
Tip #2: Dr. Sears and Dr. Donovan recommend wearing a retainer 10-12 hours daily for the first few months. After that, patients must wear them at bedtime for a while to keep the results for which they worked so hard.
Tip #3: Be sure to remove the retainer when brushing the teeth in the morning, participating in sports, or eating to ensure it stands the test of time.
Visit the Team at Coppe & Sears!
At Coppe & Sears Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we believe that everyone in Lexington deserves the confidence of a straight smile. With a team of qualified dentists and orthodontists, we provide exceptional braces and Invisalign treatment for patients of all ages. Schedule a free consultation today to start 2023 off on the right foot!