And just like that, 2021 is out the door—bring on 2022! People have likely started asking you about your New Year’s Resolution, and if you haven’t come up with one yet, we’re happy to share a few ideas! For people with braces or Invisalign, a few small changes in the coming year can make a big difference for how their treatment goes, so here are 4 resolutions to consider.
1. I will brush after every meal
Yes, you’ve probably heard that you need to brush at least twice a day, but for people with orthodontics, it’s better to do so after each meal and snack. Why? Because braces can easily trap food in the brackets and wires, and with Invisalign, any leftover debris can become pressed against the teeth when the aligners go back in. Both increase the risk of tooth decay and bad breath. That’s why it’s better to brush throughout the day.
2. I will wear my elastics as much as I should
Elastics allow your bite to line up while straightening your teeth at the same time, but they only work when you wear them! Many orthodontic patients “forget,” which ultimately slows down their treatment. By wearing them as much as your orthodontist recommends, you can ensure that your new smile is ready as quickly as possible, and you can get your braces off. : )
3. I will wear my retainers as much as I should
After a braces or Invisalign treatment concludes, a patient will be asked to wear retainers to help their teeth stay in their new positions. At first, a patient will need to wear them 12 hr per day, and after 3 months they can switch to only using them at night. Not wearing them can cause the teeth to actually drift back to where they started, so be sure to follow your orthodontist’s recommendations so you don’t accidentally undo all of the progress you made with braces or Invisalign.
4. I promise to keep up with progress checks
Regular progress checks enable your orthodontist to make sure your teeth are moving as planned and that everything is alright. If you tend to miss them, this can allow a small problem to pop up, and eventually, it can turn into a big issue that potentially derails your treatment. Usually, these appointments only happen every 6-10 weeks, but they can make a huge difference in how smoothly your treatment goes.
And just like that, you have a New Year’s Resolution! Of course, if you ever have any questions about your orthodontic treatment or what you can do to help it be faster and easier, all you have to do is talk to your orthodontist, and they’ll point you in the right direction. Wishing you all a Happy and Bright New Year. :) Dr Holt and Dr Jena.