Orthodontic treatment is a partnership. While your orthodontist is ready to give 100% of their knowledge, skill, and care to your treatment plan, how effective your treatment is depends on you. To stay on track, avoid dental problems, minimize your risk of injury, and limit emergency visits to the office, there are some things you can do.
Wear Your Gear
Of course, your orthodontic treatment will only be as effective as your compliance. While there is little danger of removing your braces, your treatment plan could involve other types of removable appliances. This could include headgear, block appliances, spacers, elastic bands, bite plates, and retainers. It can be tempting to remove these appliances when they are painful or annoying, but your treatment is slowed or even halted when you do. The same is true for Invisalign trays. Luckily, you can quickly get used to any orthodontic appliance if you keep it in.
Protect Your Gear
Another job for you is to protect your gear. That could mean wearing a mouthguard when you play sports or keeping your retainer in its case and out of reach of children and pets when you aren’t wearing it. Toddlers and dogs can wreak havoc on retainers and Invisalign trays, so be especially careful if you have any of those at home! If something does break, call the office right away. Some appliances, like retainers, should never be worn if they are broken. Others need to be fixed as soon as possible so that treatment isn’t delayed.
Clean Your Gear
You are responsible for cleaning your own orthodontic gear. If you wear braces, cleaning is simply a matter of brushing your teeth twice a day and after eating. The same goes for any fixed appliances. You can clean your retainer when you brush, as well. The simplest way is to remove it and use cool water and a soft-bristled toothbrush with gentle strokes. Invisalign trays should be rinsed with cool water every night. You can use a soft toothbrush to clear out any stubborn debris.
You are an important part of your treatment plan. The speed and effectiveness of your treatment are largely dependent on you. Keep your appliances clean, protect them from damage, and be sure to wear them according to staff instructions. If something breaks or you forget what you were told, don’t hesitate to call!
When it comes to your orthodontic care, it is normal to have questions. Click here for answers to some of our most common questions. You can also request an appointment online, today!