A smile is a person’s brightest and most formative feature. If that smile comes with braces or aligners for a little while, there’s no reason it shouldn’t shine just as bright. It just may take a bit of extra work to keep your teeth as clean as possible.
That’s where we come in. There are plenty of techniques you can use to ensure your teeth stay in their best condition as the braces and aligners do their work behind the scenes.
How to Clean Your Teeth With Braces
As mentioned, cleaning your teeth with braces is a bit more work, however, that work is well worth the end result. So, what exactly is that extra work? Let’s get into it.
Brush twice a day – no exceptions
Brushing twice a day is recommended for everyone, whether or not they have braces. However, when braces are present, the importance of frequent brushing is amplified.
- We recommend brushing after meals so that the food particles don’t sit for too long
- Brush for two minutes – we know it sounds long, but it’s worth the time
- Don’t neglect any surface! The front, back, and all chewing areas deserve ample time.
It’s an oft-neglected part of people’s routine when it comes to teeth, but it’s so very important, especially if you have braces.
It’s of the utmost importance to get the floss under the archwire of your braces, and it’s made easier with a floss threader. Here’s how to make that work for you:
- Pull one end of floss through the threader
- Push the threader under the archwire
- Grasp the floss on each end
- Slide it up and down the sides of both teeth, and under the gums
- Pull it out and use a new section of floss for the next area
While flossing with braces might take a little more effort than you were used to, once again, it’s worth the effort to keep your teeth in tip-top shape.
Cater to Your Own Needs
If you feel as though brushing and flossing regularly isn’t quite enough, don’t hesitate to invest in whatever you feel is necessary for your own dental hygiene. There are special brushes called interdental toothbrushes that are fashioned like pipe cleaners and can gently clean the spaces around brackets, bands, or wires.
There are also tools called oral irrigators that send a shot of pressurized water to your teeth to loosen food that’s stuck in hard-to-reach places. When paired with consistent brushing and flossing, these tools can work wonders for your teeth.
How to Clean Your Teeth with an Aligner
The maintenance of healthy teeth with an aligner is different than with braces but does require a similar level of consistency and discipline.
Wash your aligner every day
It seems self-explanatory, but it can often go neglected. The daily wear and tear takes its toll on aligners, and they must be cleared of all food and bacteria daily.
Use the right cleaning products
There are aligner-specific cleaners that can be employed, or gentle, clear soap. Make sure it’s not going to damage or alter your aligner in any way. Brush the aligner whenever you brush your teeth, though with a softer, separate brush.
Rinse and soak often
Rinse every time you take the aligner out to remove gunk and food buildup. Soak for the recommended time as well, rinsing again and drying before putting the aligner back in. Use lukewarm water, NOT hot water.
Don’t eat or drink with your aligner in
Water is okay, but any other liquid can stain the aligner. Food can stain it as well, and the act of eating can damage the aligner itself. Have your case with you at all times to keep the aligner safe when enjoying a meal.
Braces and aligners can feel inconvenient for a time — but once your treatment is done, your beautifully straight smile will make it all worth it! In the meantime, stick to a consistent brushing and flossing routine to keep those teeth clean and free of decay. And, of course, if you run into any issues, contact our team at Mogren Dental.