While we’re thinking about the year ahead, let’s spend a little time talking about some resolutions you can include in your 2021 list that will improve your oral health.

Make excellent oral hygiene part of your daily routine.

Whether you’re in orthodontic treatment or not, this one is super important. Not only can food and bacteria cause gingivitis, calcium buildup and cavities, but it can have a negative effect on your overall health.

If you’re in orthodontic treatment, it’s even more important to follow a strict daily hygiene routine. Braces and other orthodontic appliances create spaces that can be difficult to clean, especially when brushing alone.

Start by choosing a method of flossing: using a water flosser, a floss pick, or waxed or regular floss. The tool isn’t nearly as important as your commitment to floss at least once each day.

Spend enough time when brushing to get the back, front, top and bottom of each tooth. Be sure to get close to the gum line and use interdental brushes to get into tight, hard-to-reach spaces.

Call your dentist and schedule a year’s worth of appointments.

If you’re in orthodontic treatment, you’ll still need to schedule at least two dental hygiene visits a year. This applies to braces and Invisalign patients alike. In fact, it’s even more important to get your regular cleanings while you’re in treatment. Doing so will help protect against gingivitis and excess plaque.

Keep your smile looking healthy and beautiful by wearing your retainer every day.

Once you get your braces off, it’s likely you’ll need to wear a retainer to protect your smile and keep your teeth from shifting back to their previous positions. It’s so easy to do, but it’s also easy to get caught up in other things and suddenly realize it’s been two months since you wore your retainer. During 2021, resolve to wear your retainer according to Dr. Jones’ or Dr. DeShon’s instructions.

Reduce your sugar intake and drink more water.

Sugar interacts with the bacteria in your mouth to create acids that can damage your tooth enamel and cause decay. Increasing the amount of water you drink will help flush pieces of food from your braces and keep your mouth from getting dry. Besides, decreasing your sugar intake and increasing your water intake will help your overall health, too.

Keep your orthodontic appointments!

The No. 1 thing you can do to keep your treatment plan on track is to follow our instructions, including keeping your regular visits. If you need to reschedule a visit, just call us ahead of time and will change your appointment.