Keeping Your Teeth Clean During Orthodontic Treatment

Starting orthodontic treatment will require a few adjustments to your life, including your oral hygiene routine. While brushing and flossing are essentially the same when you’re wearing Invisalign or braces, we could all use a refresher on the best ways to manage oral hygiene. Delplanche Orthodontics has seven tips for keeping your teeth clean during orthodontic treatment.

Straightening your smile with orthodontics is an investment in your future. You’re fixing a physical issue while boosting your confidence and overall self-esteem. Your success is just as important as your smile to our team of experts here at Delplanche Orthodontics, so let’s explore some tips for keeping your teeth clean during orthodontic treatment. 

#1 Rinse thoroughly

The best way to start your brushing routine is by gargling warm water and spitting it into the sink to remove any left behind food particles. You may need to do this a few times if you notice a lot of debris. Rinse as many times as necessary until the water you spit is clear. Once you’ve gotten rid of all the debris, you can brush your teeth.

It’s also a good idea to rinse your mouth after eating or drinking anything other than water. This will prevent any sugar buildup that causes plaque and cavities. If you’re wearing Invisalign, always remember to remove your aligner before you eat, brush, and floss to keep your teeth healthy and your aligners clean. 

#2 Choose the right toothpaste

Most children transition out of the bubble-gum flavored toddler toothpaste well before it’s time for orthodontic treatment. If your child is still using this kind of toothpaste when they have their first orthodontic check-up, it’s probably time to choose an option better suited to their oral health needs. The American Dental Association and Dr. Delplanche recommend toothpaste with fluoride and stronger compounds better able to combat and neutralize bacteria. 

#3 Don’t forget your gums

If you choose braces treatment in our Beaverton or Lake Oswego office, you may experience mild gum sensitivity or inflammation when you first get your appliances, but this will go away quickly. Make sure you brush your gums to get the plaque and debris that builds up there. 

Keeping Your Teeth Clean During Orthodontic Treatment

#4 Cleaning your Invisalign trays

Invisalign aligners are removable, so they’re easier to maintain than other treatments. You should take your trays out when eating or drinking anything other than water and before brushing and flossing. Rinse your trays before you put them back in your mouth to be sure there is no lingering debris. 

To clean your trays, you can use a special kit made for Invisalign aligners or your regular toothbrush. Use a gentle, antibacterial soap to wash them at least once per day. Regular toothpaste can be too harsh and damage your aligners so be sure to use an approved solution to keep them safe.

#5 Brushing your brackets

If you have braces it’s important to know what to do when it comes to cleaning the brackets and wires. This can seem overwhelming at first if you don’t take some time to prepare. For the most part, it is the same process as brushing your teeth without braces, back and forth. But, with brackets, you will need to adjust your brush placement to get a good angle for effective cleaning. 

Brushing down from the top of the bracket, up from the bottom, and at a circular angle around them will help get those hard-to-reach places. Be sure not to apply too much pressure to damage the wires or brackets themselves. If you use an electric toothbrush, dial back the intensity or even opt for a standard brush as you get to the pressure needed to clean your teeth with braces properly. 

#6 Take your time

It can be easy to let our oral health take a backseat. We may not always get to that two-minute mark, and when you’re going through orthodontic treatment, you may want to rush and skip necessary steps. But it is more important than ever to take your time when brushing during orthodontic treatment to ensure the best results in the long run. Most electric toothbrushes come with a built-in timer that can keep you accountable while giving you an extra hand at the actual cleaning. This will help you get the cleanest smile and reach your goals every time you brush your teeth.

#7 Make sure to floss twice a day

While flossing is one of the most beneficial components of oral health, it is often the step most people tend to skip. When you have braces or aligners to consider, it can make the challenge harder. However, you should never miss this step to prevent debris, plaque, and bacteria from becoming stuck in hard-to-reach places. 

There are also disposable flossing sticks that you can use in a pinch to get to any tight spaces. Dr. Delplanche may also give you a tool, like an interdental proxy brush, to help make this process easier.

Keeping Your Teeth Clean During Orthodontic Treatment

Trust your smile to the experts at Delplanche Orthodontics

We know things come up, and life gets busy. Still, proper brushing and flossing and creating healthy routines during your orthodontic treatment with Delplanche Orthodontics can significantly improve your results and overall oral health and is worth the time. When things happen, or if you need more tips on caring for your braces or Invisalign clear aligners, get in touch with our team of experts in Beaverton and Lake Oswego for a free consultation today.