We’ve all had a lot to deal with in the last year, and it’s been easy to let some things slide. In fact, it’s been surprisingly difficult to find time for self-care even though most of us have been sticking close to home! If you’ve found it difficult to take good care of your smile throughout this pandemic, you’re certainly not alone. The good news is, it’s never too late to improve your oral health with orthodontic care in 2021!
Whether you wear braces or aligners, Nirenblatt Orthodontics is here to help you make positive changes to your dental hygiene routine. With just a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to greet the world again with a beautiful, healthy smile! Being mindful of your daily dental hygiene will make all the difference, so keep reading below for our best tips on orthodontic care in 2021!
Brush up on the basics
Everyone should work to keep their teeth and gums healthy, but this is a critical part of the orthodontic process. Thanks to all the nooks and crannies the brackets and wires create, patients in braces are particularly susceptible to cavities during treatment. We recommend brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time, but ideally, you should try to brush after every meal and snack to help eliminate germs and plaque.
How you brush your teeth is just as important as how often you do it. If you wear braces, you’ll want to take your time and carefully clean around the wires and in the areas between the brackets and gums. These areas make it easy for food particles to hide and bacteria can easily multiply there. If you’re having trouble cleaning these spots effectively, interdental brushes and ortho-picks can make this an easier and more efficient process.
Flossing is essential for good oral health, so don’t forget to do it every night before bed. 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, stick to these simple guidelines and follow all of Dr. Nirenblatt’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.
Don’t skip appointments (and schedule regular dental visits!)
We had to deal with temporary closings, stay-at-home orders, and rescheduled appointments in 2020. We’re grateful to our patients for being so flexible, but we’re hoping things will be back on track this year!
You can do your part by prioritizing your follow-up visits with Dr. Nirenblatt. These appointments play a big part in the treatment process, and will usually be scheduled for every 4-8 weeks. During these visits, Dr. Nirenblatt 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.
Good oral habits are essential for a healthy mouth, but regular dental visits are, too. You should 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 Nirenblatt Orthodontics, we’ll always work with your dentist to provide you with the best oral care available.
Take extra precautions for your smile and your health
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 some TLC in 2021 with Nirenblatt Orthodontics
The last year has definitely come with its fair share of challenges, but we’re looking forward to working with you in the months ahead to give you a confident smile you’ll want to share with everyone around you!
Whether you’re a current patient or considering treatment with our Summerville, West Ashley, or North Charleston office, our expert team is here to answer any questions you may have. Get in touch today to talk with us or schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Nirenblatt!