Attention, Beaverton and Lake Oswego smile enthusiasts! Our team at Delplanche Orthodontics is diving into the world of orthodontic appliances and learning how to care for them properly. After all, Dr. Delplanche says a little maintenance goes a long way to keep your smile healthy and bright. So, we have some handy tips, whether you’re rocking Invisalign, clear braces, or traditional metal braces. Get ready to level up your oral hygiene game!
Eating with Orthodontic Appliances
You might wonder, “Can I still eat my favorite foods while wearing braces or Invisalign?” The answer is yes but with some minor adjustments. Here’s what you need to know:
Take it slow with new appliances. When you first get your braces or Invisalign, your mouth might feel slightly sore. Don’t worry, that’s normal! Take it easy and stick to soft foods like soup, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, and yogurt until your mouth gets used to your new gear.
Avoid hard, sticky, and crunchy foods. Foods like popcorn, nuts, hard candies, and gummy sweets can damage your braces or get stuck in them. Instead, choose softer alternatives like steamed veggies, fruit smoothies, and ice cream (in moderation, of course!).
Cut food into small pieces. Instead of biting into whole apples or corn on the cob, cut these items into small, bite-sized pieces. This will help prevent damage to your braces and make eating more comfortable.
Cleaning Your Orthodontic Appliances
Keeping your orthodontic appliances clean is essential to avoid plaque build-up, bad breath, and other dental issues. Here are our top tips for keeping your appliances sparkling clean.
If you wear Invisalign, remove your aligners before eating and drinking (except for water). After eating, brush and floss your teeth before returning your aligners. To clean your Invisalign aligners, use a soft toothbrush and a gentle cleaning solution, such as our specialized aligner cleaning foam. Always brush the aligners, and rinse them with water to remove any saliva, as this will prevent build-up.. Avoid using hot water, as it can warp the plastic.
But what about if you wear metal or clear braces? Brush your teeth after every meal to remove food particles that might be stuck in your braces. Use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Angle the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, brushing gently along the brackets and wires. Remember to brush the insides and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
Flossing can be a bit tricky with braces, but it’s essential for maintaining healthy gums. Use a floss threader or an orthodontic floss pick to make the process easier. We provide all our patients with a kit of essential teeth cleaning care items. Be gentle and patient as you floss between your teeth and around the braces. Swishing with an alcohol-free, fluoride mouthwash can help keep your teeth and gums healthy, reduce plaque build-up, and freshen your breath.
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene with Orthodontic Appliances
In addition to cleaning your appliances, maintaining good overall oral hygiene is crucial for a healthy, beautiful smile. Here are some helpful tips.
Schedule regular check-ups. Be sure to visit your general dentist regularly for cleanings and any recommended dental work, as well as your necessary orthodontic check-up appointments to monitor your progress and address any issues that might come up.
Replace your toothbrush regularly. Toothbrushes can wear out faster when you have braces, so make sure to replace them every three months or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
Be mindful of your oral habits. Chewing on pens, ice, or other hard objects can damage your orthodontic appliances and your teeth. Also, avoid using your teeth as tools to open packages or tear things – that’s what scissors are for!
Wear a mouthguard. If you play sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and orthodontic appliances from potential injuries. Ask your orthodontist about custom-fit mouthguards explicitly designed for use with braces or Invisalign.
Embrace the power of the interdental brush. An interdental brush can be a game-changer for cleaning hard-to-reach areas around your braces. Use this tiny brush to gently clean between the brackets and wires.
Keep an emergency kit handy. Accidents happen; sometimes, brackets, wires, or aligners can become damaged or uncomfortable. Keep an emergency kit with you that includes orthodontic wax, a small mirror, an interdental brush, floss, and a spare toothbrush. This will help you handle any unexpected issues on the go.
Stay patient and committed. Remember, a beautiful smile is worth the effort! Stay committed to maintaining good oral hygiene and following your orthodontist’s instructions. Before you know it, you’ll be showing off your stunning, straight smile.
Orthodontic Appliances at Delplanche Orthodontics
Caring for your orthodontic appliances might seem like a challenge at first, but with a bit of practice and dedication, you’ll quickly become a pro. You’ll achieve a beautiful, healthy smile by following these tips on eating, cleaning, and maintaining good oral hygiene. So, grab your toothbrush, some floss, and your favorite mouthwash – it’s time to show your appliances some love!
If your smile needs attention near Lake Oswego or Beaverton, you’ll be well-taken care of at Delplance Orthodontics. Head here to schedule a free consultation.