When it comes to orthodontic treatment, maintaining great oral hygiene is an absolute must!
Keeping your braces or Invisalign® clear aligners clean is imperative for yielding the best smile possible. When you’re traveling and on-the-go, keeping your braces or aligners clean may require some new additions to your routine that shouldn’t slow you down one bit!
You might be saying, “Duh, of course a common toothbrush is on this list,” and if you are, that’s a great sign! Brushing your teeth is extremely beneficial to your on-the-go oral health. Using your toothbrush in the morning and at night is a given, but how about brushing after snacks and meals?
With Invisalign® clear aligners, you will remove your aligners before eating. We recommend placing them in your case so you don’t lose them - hence our saying “In your face or in the case!” Placing your aligners back in your mouth without brushing your teeth or aligners will create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and further plaque buildup. After each snack or meal, and anytime before placing your aligners back in your mouth, give your teeth and aligners a quick brush or at least a rinse. Brush your teeth to loosen and remove food particles lodged between teeth. You can brush your aligners with a little toothpaste and water or antibacterial soap and water. Don’t soak them in mouthwash or put them in hot water as they are plastic and can discolor or deform.
If you have traditional braces or ceramic braces, follow this same rule. Brush your teeth after each snack or meal. Food particles commonly become stuck between teeth as well as between wires and brackets. A quick brushing a few times a day will help prevent cavities, gum disease and tooth decay. It is very important to brush near the gums because that is an easy place for plaque and bacteria to get stuck. And don’t forget to always brush your tongue since the bacteria that lies there is what can lead to bad breath...gross!
You may have heard the popular claim that regular flossing is not only vital to your dental health, but can add years to your life. This is actually true! If you don’t floss your teeth regularly, you’re putting yourself at a greater risk of gum disease from built-up bacteria. Untreated gum disease can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and more! Flossing your teeth regularly, especially when undergoing orthodontic treatment, will destroy bacteria linked to gum disease and poor hygiene.
When you’re on-the-go, bring a package of floss with you. If you use Invisalign aligners, you can remove your aligners to floss without obstacles. Floss your teeth at least once a day, if not after each meal.
If you’re undergoing a form of braces, traditional or ceramic, you can benefit from specially-designed floss that penetrates between wires and brackets! You can use floss threaders or special flossers for braces like Plackers Orthopicks® to help. Be sure to bring floss when you’re traveling so you can avoid irritation in your gums and food stuck in your braces.
Mouthwash solutions are great when traveling! Keep a travel-sized bottle of mouthwash with you to freshen your mouth at any time of the day. Mouthwash should not be used to replace brushing teeth or flossing teeth; it should be used in combination with other practices. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash after eating, brushing or flossing on-the-go will promote positive oral hygiene and fresh breath. Mouthwash will help cleanse the mouth of harmful bacteria and remove lodged food particles missed by flossing or brushing.
With traditional or clear braces, you can use any mouthwash brand approved by your orthodontist. Ask us which type of mouthwash is best for your form of braces, and we are more than happy to help!
If you have Invisalign, you will remove your clear aligners before using mouthwash. Similar to toothpaste, mouthwash has active ingredients that may discolor or deform your aligners. Simply remove your aligners, swish around some mouthwash, rinse your aligners and place them back in your mouth!
A small mirror can prove to be super helpful when you’re traveling while undergoing orthodontic treatment! Keep a small travel-sized mirror with you to use alongside mouthwash, flossing and brushing. A small mirror will help you accurately rid your teeth of residual food particles, (specifically that pesky spinach piece that always ends between your two front teeth!) Monitoring your smile with a small mirror is also rewarding when you notice your teeth are that much straighter today than they were yesterday!
Now You’re Ready To Travel From Coast to Coast!
We want you to feel healthy, fresh and prepared anytime you leave your home during your orthodontic treatment.
Committing to a few extra minutes of oral maintenance while you’re traveling is worth it in the long run--after all, who doesn’t prefer a white smile and fresh breath?!
We want to answer your questions about affordable orthodontics, the average cost of braces, and anything else you need to know!