Oral Hygiene During Orthodontic Treatment

Caring for Your Braces & Aligners

During orthodontic treatment, having a proper oral hygiene routine is more important now than ever. Maintaining good oral health with braces is imperative because brackets and wires make it easy for plaque to build up on your teeth. If you don’t take care of your teeth throughout your treatment time, you could put yourself at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. 

The goal of orthodontic treatment is to not only create beautiful smiles but healthy smiles. Here are some guidelines for keeping your teeth and gums healthy:

Oral Hygiene During Braces Treatment

While you are wearing braces, you will need to use an interdental toothbrush, also known as a Proxy Brush. These interdental brushes are small and can easily clean in between your braces. You should use the Proxy brush before you brush your teeth to push the food particles out from between your wires and brackets. You should always push the food away from the gum line. 

When you brush your teeth with braces on, you should use a soft toothbrush with only a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. 

Brush using circular motions around the gum line for 10 seconds for each tooth and brush the lower teeth up and the upper teeth down for the best clean. Slowly brush each arch separately, we recommend that 1 minute be spent on each.  Be sure to angle your toothbrush between your brackets and gums. Finally, don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth because lots of germs can hide there. 

You should floss every night, carefully pulling the floss between the wire and the braces, using a floss threader or super floss. Be sure to floss carefully around each tooth and the gum area, doing one section at a time. 

After brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with water or an antiseptic dental rinse. You should rinse your mouth with dental rinse one to two times a day. If the rinse is too strong, you can dilute it with an equal amount of water. 

Oral Hygiene During Invisalign® Treatment

While Invisalign aligners can be removed for easy cleaning, it is still important to have good oral hygiene. During treatment, you should be brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth twice a day. We also recommend that you brush your teeth and rinse after meals before you put your aligners back in your mouth. This will wash away any food particles that could potentially get trapped in your trays. 

Every day, you should clean your set of aligners. We wrote an in-depth blog on how to care for your aligners.  

Retainer Cleaning

A thorough oral hygiene routine should be followed even after your braces are off. Once you have gone through orthodontic treatment, you will get a retainer to maintain your smile. 

The retainer must be kept clean. To clean your retainer, brush it with antibacterial liquid hand soap using cold water. You should never use hot water or alcohol on the retainer. This can distort the retainer and cause it not to fit properly. 

When you are not wearing your retainer, it should be stored in its case. This will keep it safe from dirt, dust, and bacteria as long as it has been properly cleaned and dried. 

If you have any questions on how to properly care for your braces or have any questions about your treatment plan, reach out to a member of our team.

Invisalign®, the Invisalign logo, and iTero®, among others, are trademarks and/or service marks of Align Technology, Inc. or one of its subsidiaries or affiliated companies and may be registered in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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