Caring for braces or aligners is an essential part of the orthodontic process. Whether you have traditional braces or Invisalign, it's important to keep your orthopedic device clean and in good condition. In this article, we'll discuss the best ways to care for your braces or aligners, as well as tips for eating with braces and other compliance issues. When it comes to cleaning your aligners, you can use Listerine or a cleaning solution.
If you don't have these, warm water and soap will do the trick. Gently brush all surfaces of the aligners with the solution and small circular movements. You should brush your aligners every night with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a little toothpaste or clear liquid soap. When you're done, simply rinse them and put them in their tray.
Invisalign also provides a cleaning system for the best results. Avoid using rough or abrasive materials when cleaning aligners, such as alcohol mouthwashes. Cleaning the aligners helps eliminate bacteria that may have accumulated during the night or during the day, as well as dirt and other particles that may have adhered to the aligners. Traditional orthodontic appliances are a great option for younger patients (8 to 14 years old) because they take much of the responsibility away from the patient. For patients with braces, good oral hygiene is the most important responsibility, besides making sure to avoid foods that are bad for braces.
Other compliance issues with orthopedic appliances include the use of elastics, although not all patients will have to wear them. Invisalign is a favorite among adults and older teens because of its aesthetic quality, but also because it's easier for adults and teens to meet compliance requirements. For them to work, Invisalign aligners must be in the mouth. Because these are aligners and not retainers, your teeth are in an active state of motion. Therefore, you should plan to wear your aligners for 18 to 22 hours a day.
Aligners should be removed for eating and drinking (except for water), rinsed and put back on as soon as you have brushed your teeth. One of the best tips for new users of braces or for patients with Invisalign is to trust that they will get used to the feel of the appliance very quickly. When you receive orthodontic treatment with clear aligners or braces, you can generally trust that these treatments will do most of the work for you. It's important to know what to eat during orthodontic treatment, as the wrong foods can cause some major problems, especially with braces. With braces, it's best to avoid eating foods that are too chewy, crunchy, sticky, or hard. Take a small mirror with you, download a mirror app, or make friends with the selfie mode on the phone's camera so you can check your orthopedic device after eating and see if there are bits of food that aren't present. Dental aligners have been a preferred treatment option for people who want to straighten or align their teeth without wearing braces.
Unlike orthopedic appliances, which are fixed appliances that can only be removed by a trained specialist, transparent aligners rely on patient compliance to be effective. Traditional orthodontic appliances consist of two long appointments, called bail and detachment, that cover putting on and taking off the brackets. During the initial phase of familiarizing yourself with braces, you may experience irritation on your lips and cheeks due to braces and wires. When it comes to what should and shouldn't be done when wearing braces, the main thing not to do is eat foods that are very hard or sticky, as they can damage braces. Visit your general dentist approximately every three months for cleanings and checkups while you are wearing braces or Invisalign. If you need clear aligners or braces, the experienced team at Compass Dental Group will be happy to help. Ultimately, the responsibility for moving the teeth lies with the orthodontist, as long as the patient cooperates. Caring for your braces or aligners is an important part of getting a successful outcome from your orthodontic treatment.
Following these tips will help ensure that your treatment goes smoothly and that you get great results.