We all know the importance of good oral hygiene, but it becomes even more important after an orthodontic procedure. Our teeth have plenty of tight areas that bacteria can call home, now add extra spaces for bacteria to hide between retainers, aligners, and braces, and you have a recipe for infection. SmileBuilders wants to make sure you keep up with your oral health while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Here’s what you need to know:

How Do I Care for My Braces?

Braces present a particular set of challenges for dental hygiene. The brackets and elastic bands make it easy for bacteria to find more hiding spots. To combat this problem, we recommend thoroughly brushing your teeth at least twice a day, but ideally after every meal. Proper brushing technique is as follows:

  • Place your brush at a 45-degree angle from your gum line
  • As you brush, make sure you get between and around the wires
  • You should always try to brush consistently for at least two minutes to make sure you reach every area
  • Try to target every tooth individually when you brush, applying gentle pressure in a circular motion

Along with regular brushing, we highly recommend you floss at least once a day and rinse thoroughly. Using a fluoride mouth rinse is also highly recommended.

How Do I Care for Retainers?

Retainers are important because they help maintain your teeth in the desired position after orthodontic treatment. With the appropriate care, you can minimize the number of bacteria in your retainers, and by extension, your teeth. Some general rules for retainer care include:

  • You should make an effort to clean retainers whenever you remove them from your mouth because debris can harden on the retainer surface if left uncleaned
  • Make a habit out of brushing your retainers with lukewarm water whenever you brush your teeth or after every meal
  • If necessary, use a soft toothbrush and dish soap for a deeper clean – avoid using hard brushes since retainers can be easy to scratch
  • Some retainers can be soaked in specialized solutions as part of the cleaning process, ask your doctor if your retainers can undergo this type of cleaning

How Do I Care for Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners require a similar type of cleaning process as retainers. To maintain good oral health while you are undergoing treatment with clear aligners, consider the following:

  • Avoid using hard brushes and soaps to clean your aligners, as they can be easily damaged by abrasive materials and substances
  • Rinse your aligners regularly, especially every time you take them off, to avoid bacterial buildups
  • Clear aligners come with cleaning substances that you should use to soak the devices every day
  • You should never eat with your aligners installed
  • Continue to brush and floss your teeth after every meal to avoid bad breath and infections

Want to Learn More About Orthodontic Hygiene Maintenance in Monsey, NY?

At SmileBuilders, we want to help you maintain the highest standard of oral health through every orthodontic treatment. Give us a call today to learn more!