The ideal patient: what you can do to make your orthodontic journey a smooth one

You’ve chosen a great orthodontic practice. You and your orthodontist have come up with a treatment plan. You’re excited about what your smile will look like when it’s all over. And you want to know what you can do to help your treatment go as smoothly as possible so you get the smile you’ve always wanted.

You’ve come to the right place! Here are some things you can do to be an excellent patient on your orthodontic treatment journey.

Keep All Your Appointments

We understand – life happens and sometimes you can’t make your appointment. When that happens, call and let the front desk know and schedule another appointment as soon as possible. Appointments are important for making sure progress is on track and for making any necessary adjustments to your braces or your treatment plan. Frequently skipping or delaying appointments can slow progress, which means your braces might be on longer than you want.

Follow Instructions

Your treatment may involve metal braces, clear aligners, elastic bands, palate expanders, or other orthodontic appliances. All of these can do incredible things to your teeth, mouth, and jaws – if used as directed. For instance, you may be told to wear your aligners for 22 hours a day, or to keep your elastic bands on all night. Whatever your treatment entails, follow your orthodontist’s instructions! 

Take Care of Your Braces and Your Teeth

Yes, brushing and flossing is more challenging with brackets and wires on your teeth, but good dental hygiene habits are critical during orthodontic treatment. Not cleaning well around brackets can lead to white spots where the enamel has become discolored from plaque build-up. No one wants to get their braces off only to see straight teeth with spots on them.

Taking care of your braces also means avoiding foods that are off-limits (like sticky, chewy, and hard foods) and protecting your mouth from things that could damage braces (by wearing a mouth guard during contact sports, for example). Busted brackets and broken wires aren’t pleasant, and they may cause your treatment to go temporarily off-track.

Wear Your Retainer!

Your orthodontic journey is not over the moment the braces come off. Teeth have a good memory and left to their own devices, they tend to drift back to where they came from. That’s why retainers are so important. Depending on what your orthodontist thinks is best, you may have a permanent retainer and/or a removeable one, and have them for your top and/or bottom teeth. Follow your orthodontist’s instructions on how often to wear your removeable retainer and how to care for it. This is the single best thing you can do to keep your teeth straight after treatment ends.

Being a Proactive Patient

A proactive patient is one who takes care of their braces and appliances, keeps appointments, and follows instructions at every stage, including wearing retainer(s) after the braces come off. They call with any concerns or questions and have problems – like a broken bracket – fixed as quickly as possible.

Be proactive in your orthodontic treatment and we promise you’ll have a better experience and you’ll love the results, too.