New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Smile

3, 2, 1…Happy New Year!…(well, almost, anyway!) With the end of a successful 2022 and an exciting year of possibilities to look forward to, it’s time to get those 2023 New Year’s resolutions solidified so you can prepare and commit. If you’re a Saddle Creek Orthodontics patient in active treatment or retention, there’s no better way to fulfill those New Year wishes than by sticking to these New Year’s resolutions for a healthy smile! Let’s dig in.

#1: Start Flossing!

This might be one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions known to man, and that’s why it ranks at the top of our list. Everyone is always telling themselves they’ll start flossing, but the team at Saddle Creek Orthodontics knows 2023 is your year! 

Flossing is key to a healthy smile no matter your age or orthodontic condition, but it’s even more important when you’re wearing braces. With all those brackets and wires in your mouth, there’s a lot more surface area for that pesky plaque to gather, hide, and produce cavities. Flossing your teeth regularly will keep your teeth healthy, clean, and plaque-free all year round. 

Follow these steps to check off this item on your 2023 to-do list!

Step One: Thread the dental floss through the eye of a floss threader. You can find floss threaders at any grocery store, in your orthodontic toolkit, or by asking Dr. Kyle or Dr. John. 

Step Two: Push the head of the floss threader over or under the wire and between your teeth. 

Step Three: Remove the threader and lay it to the side. Floss each side of your tooth in a back-and-forth motion like you normally would without braces. 

Step Four: Pick up your floss threader and repeat this step by moving to the next tooth! 

#2: Learn All the Tools In Your Orthodontic Toolkit

Resolution #2: Finally take the time to sit down and investigate the orthodontic toolkit we gave you when you first got your braces! This box of goodies includes a list of super important and effective tools to help you take care of your braces and keep your smile healthy. Each tool plays a unique role in your oral health, helping you clean those hard-to-reach places and giving you a pearly white smile in no time. 

Soft-Bristled Toothbrush – Our team recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush to capably clean your teeth without harming your brackets. The soft bristles reach between each bracket much better than harder bristles, making it easier to clean these tough-to-reach spaces.

Floss Threader – Like a needle, this tool helps you maneuver around the wires in your mouth to floss between your teeth without a hitch. 

Proxabrush – this tool looks almost like a pipe cleaner, and it works practically the same! The Proxabrush allows you to clean the spaces between brackets or wires that your toothbrush just can’t reach. 

Orthodontic Wax: Use a small amount of this helpful material to protect your cheeks and gums from irritating brackets or poky wires. In a pinch, orthodontic wax is a lifesaver!

Remember: we’re always here to help with this step! If you have any questions about the contents of your home care kit, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Kyle or Dr. John. 

#3: Wear Your Retainer Regularly – And Properly!

If you’re looking forward to getting your braces off in 2023, we’re so excited for your big reveal! Completing active treatment is a huge milestone for your smile, but your journey isn’t over yet. When Dr. Kyle or Dr. John remove your brackets and wires, the next step to smile success is called retention, and it’s equally as important as active treatment. 

Retainers are maintainers, but they only work for you if you work for them. Follow these tips for wearing and maintaining your retainers: 

Tip #1: Any time you have your retainer in, 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. Kyle and Dr. John recommend wearing your retainer practically 24 hours daily for the first six months. Then, you’ll wear them at nighttime for a lifetime. 

Tip #3: Remove your retainer when you brush your teeth in the morning, when you play sports, and when you’re eating to ensure it stands the test of time. 

Tip #4: Avoid toothpaste when cleaning your retainer! Toothpaste can break down the materials that make up your new appliance, meaning you’ll have to replace it sooner rather than later. Instead, use a white vinegar solution to clean your retainer once a week. 

#4: Keep Up with Follow-Up Appointments

We never get tired of seeing your smiling face, and we hope you choose to stick to this resolution all 2023! Continuing to meet with the Saddle Creek Orthodontics team even after you get your braces off will help ensure your smile stays straight for years to come. 

Follow-up appointments are a great time to ask any questions you have about the retention phase, check to see if you need adjustments to your retainer or a new one entirely, and generally keep up with your oral care. Don’t skip these – they’re one of the keys to your smile success story!

New Year's Resolutions for a Healthy Smile

#5: Start Orthodontic Treatment at Saddle Creek Orthodontics

Feeling self-conscious about your smile? We’re here to help. If you’re considering getting braces in the new year, Saddle Creek Orthodontics is your choice for exceptional care in Germantown and Collierville. With braces and Invisalign for all ages, our team has everything you need to get the straight smile you deserve. Kick-off 2023 the right way – schedule your free consultation today!