Braces, aligners, and retainers can all help ensure that you have a beautiful smile while also correcting various issues, like misaligned teeth that can cause you pain. Once you have an orthodontic appliance, it is crucial that you care for them properly. Otherwise, trapped food, plaque, and bacteria could lead to tooth or gum damage, harming your oral health.
If you have braces, aligners, or retainers, here’s how you need to take care of them.
Since braces are attached to your teeth, much of their care is based on your standard oral health care routine. However, you do need to make sure you use the proper tools, or you risk doing an insufficient job.
Brushing and flossing are at the core of braces care. The process ensures you can remove food particles and bacteria that may be trapped by the brackets and wires. As you brush, make sure you get above and below your braces. For flossing, your dentist might recommend options like floss threaders or floss designed specifically made to get between braces so that you can reach the spaces between teeth that sit both above and below the wire.
Inter-ortho brushes can also help you get in-between the brackets. These small cone-shaped brushes are easy to use and can help you reach spots a regular toothbrush may miss.
Aligners need to be cleaned regularly to ensure oral health. Any time you remove your aligner, you need to rise it thoroughly to remove saliva and plaque, both of which can lead to bacteria growth.
When you brush your teeth, you should also brush your aligner. You can use your regular toothbrush and toothpaste. Just make sure you hit every surface on the inside and outside of your aligner and are gentle as you clean. Hard brushing can scratch aligners, so you want to be careful as you brush.
Denture and retainer cleaners can also be used on aligners. You can soak your aligner and case in the cleaner. Just make sure to follow the package directions to do a thorough job.
The kind of retainer you have determines what steps you need to take to care for them. Removable retainers should be cleaned the same way as aligners. They need to be brushed every time you brush your teeth and should be soaked using a denture or retainer cleaner regularly to keep them free of food particles, plaque, and bacteria.
Permanent retainers (wires attached to the back of the teeth) require the same care steps as braces. Along with brushing, you need to floss above and below the wire, so you will need threaders or specialized floss. Inter-ortho brushes also work with permanent retainers, ensuring you reach every surface.
All Orthodontic Appliances
If you have orthodontic appliances, maintaining your appointments with your Frisco dentist is a must. They can make sure your braces, aligners, and retainers are in good shape and properly cleaned, making it easier to maintain your oral health.