No matter what type of braces you wear, it’s more important than ever that you practice good dental hygiene and take care of your braces while they do their job.
Reese Orthodontics in New Hope and Chanhassen, Minnesota, wants you to have the best possible outcome from your orthodontic treatment. Karen, Reese, DDS, MS, is your professional partner, and the partnership goes two ways.
Taking care of metal braces
Although metal braces look impenetrable, they are actually fairly fragile. Wires can break or bend, and then you’re faced with an unexpected dental visit. Plus, if a wire breaks, it may scrape the inside of your mouth — ouch.
Following are tips for taking care of your braces if they’re metal.
Foods to avoid
If you have metal braces, follow the guidelines Dr. Reese gives you. Prepare yourself mentally, before the braces go on, to make some dietary changes if needed. If movie night at home consists of popcorn and nuts, finish the bag or box before you get your braces. Avoid snack food that’s crunchy or hard.
Likewise, if you love sucking on hard candy and can’t resist cracking it with your teeth, empty the bag and resolve not to buy more, at least until your treatment is finished. By then, you might have broken a bad habit.
Now’s not the time to skip flossing. As the old saying goes, only skip flossing the teeth you want to lose. Flossing removes food particles your toothbrush can’t quite get to in the spaces between your teeth, especially if your teeth are stuck against each other.
Use waxed floss. The unwaxed kind can get trapped between your teeth more easily. Dr. Reese shows you the proper technique for flossing. If you need a floss threader, a tool which helps you get the floss in the right position when you have braces, you can get one at your local drugstore.
Brush as Dr. Reese directs you. Some toothbrushes have an ortho brush head designed to help you brush with braces.
Taking care of clear aligners
Your clear aligners are made of a special patented plastic. Unlike metal braces, you take them on and off every time you eat something. Following are tips for their care.
Use the plastic carrying case
You need your plastic carrying case with you most of the time in the event you decide to eat on the run unexpectedly. Just pop the aligners in the case so they’re safe and away from bacteria that could enter your mouth when you put the aligners back on. Don’t leave them on a car seat beside you where you’ll forget them or someone may sit on them.
Clean the carrying case
If you clean your aligners but don’t clean the case, you’re potentially putting bacteria in your mouth that the aligners pick up on the dirty case. Clean the case at least once a day with warm, soapy water, and dry it thoroughly.
Clean your aligners after each use
Even though you’re tired at the end of a long day, don’t skip cleaning your aligners. Clean them every time you brush your teeth — at least twice a day.
You can soak your aligners in a retainer cleaning solution. If you use Invisalign® aligners, you can use their brand of cleaning crystals if you prefer. Alternatively, you can run over your aligners lightly with a tiny amount of toothpaste and your toothbrush; clean and rinse thoroughly.
Call our office most convenient to you or book an appointment online today for expert orthodontic treatment that yields a brand new smile.