Caring for Your Orthodontic Appliances
By taking extra care of your appliance, you are also taking care of your teeth! Whether you have a retainer, Invisalign, or traditional metal braces, cleaning your orthodontic appliances is of the utmost importance for your oral health.
With or without orthodontic appliances, your mouth accumulates bacteria throughout the day. However, when you are treating your smile with braces, cleaning your teeth can be more challenging. Food often builds in the brackets of your braces or the grooves of your teeth, leading to bad breath, gum disease, and cavities.
Properly cleaning your braces will result in a shining, sparkling smile. Here are some tips to keep your braces clean:
Cleaning Traditional Braces
Caring for orthodontic appliances is unique to that appliance. For example, cleaning your metal brackets is going to be different than cleaning clear aligners. Try these tips to keep your traditional braces as clean as possible:
Brush After Every Meal
The easiest way to clean your braces is by simply brushing your teeth after every meal! Whether you are in the comfort of your own home or out to eat, brushing often will help dislodge any food particles that can get stuck in your brackets. Brushing regularly will also remove plaque and bacteria, which further prevents tooth decay.
Create a Braces-Care Kit
Creating a braces care kit to take with you when you leave the house is one of the most efficient ways to clean your braces. In the care kit, you should include:
- A soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Fluoride toothpaste.
- Interdental brush.
- Floss and threaders.
- Orthodontic wax.
- Lip balm.
- Travel-sized mouthwash.
Having these supplies handy in your work bag, backpack, or purse will allow you to care for your braces no matter where you are.
Add Mouthwash to Your Hygiene Routine
Mouthwash is an additional tool to help keep your braces clean and your teeth strong and healthy. Look for a mouthwash that contains fluoride, one of the strongest ingredients in fighting tooth decay.
Swishing mouthwash around your teeth at least once a day helps remove any lingering food particles in your brackets and behind your wires. It also improves your gum health, reducing your risk for gum disease.
Cleaning Clear Aligners
Clear aligners such as Invisalign require different cleaning techniques to keep your appliance sparkling and your teeth healthy and strong. How should you care for them? Try these tips:
Rinse after Removal
One of the benefits of clear aligners is removing them to brush your teeth and eat. However, to avoid saliva or bacteria from drying to your trays, you should always rinse them immediately after removing them from your mouth. Even if you are not at home, putting them under running water to quickly cleanse them is pertinent.
Soak in Cleaning Crystals
Harsh materials like soaps, mouthwash, or denture cleaners can be harmful to your aligners. Instead, use cleaning crystals to soak your trays daily to keep them odorless, free of bacteria, and clear in color. After placing the cleaning crystals in water, submerge your trays for the recommended amount of time. Make sure not to leave them in the water for longer than necessary! Once they are clean, you can remove them from the water and brush and rinse them with water.
Use Your Storage Case
Your clear aligners will come with a case to use when you eat, drink, or brush your teeth. Leaving your trays out in the open makes them susceptible to growing bacteria or even getting accidentally thrown away. Often, people place their aligners in a napkin and don’t remember before tossing the napkin away. Instead, store them safely in their case to keep them safe and clean.
Orthodontic Treatment at Holistic Orthodontics
Holistic Orthodontics offers various orthodontic treatments to best meet your needs and give you the smile you’ve always dreamt of. From traditional braces to Invisalign, our team provides individualized orthodontic care for all of our patients.
Contact our office online or call us at (818) 626-3632 to schedule your initial appointment today.