Budding trees, blooming flowers and warmer weather...the signs of spring all around us are hard to miss! Many of us see these first signs of spring and take to our yards and homes in a cleaning frenzy. What else could use a little sprucing up? Your smiles! So, before you grab your mops or garden rakes, Dr. Gilbert and Dr. Wells would like you take a moment to think about your braces and your dental health routine. They've asked us to share a few tips to "spring clean" your dental routine so that your smile is vibrant, healthy and ready for the new season!
Replace your toothbrush
The American Dental Association recommends you replace your toothbrush (or brush head, if you use an electric toothbrush) every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed or if you have been ill. While wearing orthodontic braces and appliances, you may notice your toothbrush bristles begin to fray more frequently. When was the last time you replaced YOUR toothbrush?
Since we're on the topic of toothbrushes, here are a few additional tips from the ADA to keep your family safe and healthy:
- Never share your toothbrush.
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water after use.
- Store toothbrushes upright, if possible so they can air dry faster after use.
- Children's and orthodontic patient's toothbrushes may need to be replaced more often than every three months. Replace once you observe the bristles have begun to fray.
Do you find it tough to floss every day? You may be more likely to stick to your flossing routine if you keep things fresh and easily accessible. Consider trying a new type of dental floss to make it more interesting:
- Super Floss: Super Floss comes in waxed, un-waxed and minty varieties. The box of floss comes pre-cut in individual strands with one stiff end made especially to work around appliances. This makes it almost effortless to floss under arch wires with for our braces-wearing patients!
- Dental tape: Dental tape is a thin "ribbon" of floss that slides easily between teeth. Did you know that Glide, comes individually packaged too? These pre-cut strands also have a "workable" end that can be used to ease under arch wires. So easy to use!
- Though SmilesForever Orthodontics doesn't recommend using floss picks with braces and arch wires, we do recommend using floss threaders if you are having difficulty getting used to guiding under your wires to floss. If you need floss threaders, please ask us for them at your next adjustment.
Visit your regular dentist
As you begin to check things off your spring cleaning list, don't forget to make sure your dental visit is scheduled. The ADA recommends visiting your general dentist every six months. Dr. Wells and Dr. Gilbert strongly encourage our braces-wearing patients to keep to their regular checkup and cleaning schedules. They, along with our orthodontic clinicians, will go over oral hygiene routines if they notice any gum irritation or plaque buildup at your adjustment appointments. They'll be sure to point out any hard to reach areas in need of cleaning adjustments, and make sure you know the necessary steps to keeping your teeth and gums healthy while in orthodontic treatment. We want you to have only the healthiest of smiles!
Spiffing up your dental health routine is quick and easy!
Spring is often referred to as a time for new beginnings. If your dental health routine has suffered through the winter, now is the perfect time to get things back on track with new floss options, a fresh toothbrush and visiting your regular dentist for your cleaning and checkup. These quick and easy steps can help you enjoy a healthy smile throughout the season and be ready to greet the summer with your best smile!