How to Maintain Good Oral Health During Orthodontic Treatment

Wondering how to maintain good oral health during orthodontic treatment? Don’t worry, the team at Danzer Orthodontics is here to help. Whether you have traditional braces or Invisalign clear aligners, we have all the tips you need to keep your smile happy and healthy throughout your treatment plan, so keep reading to learn more!  

Avoid Sweets When You Can

Whether you’re going through orthodontic treatment with traditional braces or Invisalign trays, eating too many sweets can put you at a higher risk of getting cavities than normal. That’s because your appliances create a lot of extra surface area in your mouth for sugar to stick to – and sugar can attract cavity-causing bacteria. This domino effect could even continue and affect the duration of your treatment, as the dental work needed to repair cavities could pause your care and cause it to take longer than predicted. 

So, rather than drinking sweet drinks like soda or juice, opt for healthier options like water instead. And instead of picking up a candy bar or other sugary treat, try eating more fruits and vegetables. Your teeth – and your body – will thank you! 

Rinse After Snacks & Meals

Even if you can’t avoid sweets all the time, there are ways to protect your oral health with braces or Invisalign aligners. It’s a good idea to rinse your mouth with water after every snack or meal. It can be easy for bits of food to get stuck in the little nooks and crannies of your brackets and wires, which can attract cavity-causing bacteria – and if you put your aligner trays in when bits of food are stuck between your teeth, the same thing can happen. 

Giving your mouth a thorough rinse with water or even mouthwash can dislodge these bits of food and keep your smile healthy for the long haul. 

Keep Your Home Care Kit On Hand

When you first begin orthodontic treatment, we’ll send you home from your appointment with a home care kit. This kit is filled with all kinds of useful items that will help you keep your smile clean during treatment, so be sure to keep it with you as often as possible – you never know when you’ll need it! 

Your kit includes a wide range of helpful tools like a floss threader to help you floss around brackets and wires, a soft-bristled toothbrush for careful cleaning, and a proxabrush to help you brush in hard-to-reach areas. 

Learn How to Brush Around Brackets

When patients don’t brush their teeth properly during treatment, it’s not uncommon for us to find white spots on their teeth when we finally remove their braces – and nothing puts a damper on a brand-new straight smile like white stains. Although brushing around your new appliance comes with a learning curve, with practice, you’ll be a pro in no time. 

For the most part, you’ll brush like normal. However, making sure you get the right angles is essential for cleaning all sides of your teeth and avoiding staining. Using a 45-degree angle, make sure to get the tops, sides, and bottoms of your teeth, adding a circular motion as you go to remove any plaque. Be sure not to use too much pressure, though! Brushing too intensely could harm your brackets and wires and reduce the effectiveness of your oral hygiene routine. 

If you’re not sure how to brush with braces, that’s okay! Ask our team to give you a tutorial at your next appointment, and we’ll be happy to show you the best way to keep your smile clean during treatment. 

How to Maintain Good Oral Health During Orthodontic Treatment

Clean Your Aligner Trays 

Unlike braces, you can remove your aligner trays, which makes cleaning your teeth much easier – it’s just your normal brushing routine! However, instead of going straight to bed after you’ve brushed, you’ll need to add one extra step: cleaning your aligner trays. 

It’s a good idea to gently brush your aligners with a mild antibacterial soap at least once per day. That’s because, like your teeth, your aligners can gather cavity-causing bacteria throughout the day, and that can add up if left on its own. Just don’t use regular toothpaste, as the gritty substance can harm your trays and leave tiny scratches for bacteria to grow – gross! 

Don’t Forget to Floss! 

Many patients put off flossing before orthodontic treatment begins, but if there’s any time to pick up the habit, it’s when you start with Danzer Orthodontics. As we mentioned before, the extra surface area in your mouth makes it much easier for bits of food to snag between your teeth and get stuck, which could cause cavities or harm your appliances. Flossing (using your floss threader if you have braces or, like normal, if you have Invisalign) can prevent this from happening and keep your teeth happy and healthy for the treatment days to come. 

Don’t Miss Appointments

Last but certainly not least, be sure to visit our office for every appointment! Your orthodontic visits are essential because they give Dr. Danzer the opportunity to assess your smile and make sure everything is running smoothly. If you need to make adjustments to your oral hygiene routine, this is the time we can help you get back on the right foot. 

However, we understand that sometimes things come up, and you can’t always make your appointment. That’s totally okay! Just be sure to call us as soon as you know you won’t be able to attend, and we’ll get you rescheduled as soon as possible so that your treatment plan stays on track for success. 

How to Maintain Good Oral Health During Orthodontic Treatment

Find Straight Smile Success at Danzer Orthodontics

At Danzer Orthodontics, our team understands the value of a straight smile and what it can do for your confidence. With years of experience in the Owensboro community, we are here to provide you and your family with quality care for all ages. If you’re ready to get started, schedule your consultation today!