You must be aware that orthodontic braces are a long-term solution for aligning your crooked or crowded teeth. Regardless of the braces or aligners you're using, it's necessary to care for them properly and prevent breakage or treatment delays. Here, we've compiled the following advice to support your Invisalign journey.
If you are wearing clear aligners or other kind of removable brace, then we would suggest you to use a cleaning system, according to the dentist. You need to brush aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste under lukewarm water. It is advised to brush teeth nearly 30 minutes after eating or drinking before putting back your aligners and prevent them from staining.
In the case of fixed braces, it is necessary to brush over wire, bracket and angle toothbrush up to clean beneath them. Cleaning in between your teeth and brackets, known as interdental cleaning, is very important. Your dental expert will give you all necessary advice and demonstrations you require so that you can care for your braces properly.
If you have fixed braces or removable braces while eating, then you need to keep a careful eye on your diet to prevent damaging the wires. It is suggested not to eat sticky foods such as caramel, lollies and toffee that can break or loosen braces. Having crunchy and hard foods can cause damage which includes – raw carrot, nuts, celery, pizza crust, apples and biscuits. You can enjoy these foods in moderation but break them into small pieces and chew them with the back teeth to prevent any breakages.
There are removable braces which should be removed at the time of eating and drinking such as Invisalign and Inman aligners. You can drink water while wearing aligners as everything else may cause stain to the appliance.
Whichever kind of orthodontics you have, the teeth may be soft after starting the treatment, after readjustments to your braces or when you get a new set of aligners. When this takes place, try to eat foods you would bite such as vegetables, fruits and sandwiches. It is better to eat foods that need little or no chewing, which include pasta dishes, soup, natural yoghurts and low-sugar.
If your aligners or braces are damaged, then you can feel them gently for any loose or bent parts. Do not fiddle with your braces without need as this may create new issues or worsen present damage.
If you experience any pain or find out any issues, then it is necessary to consult with the dentist soon. If you are having fixed braces, then the dentist will usually arrange for an appointment to fix and then readjust them. If you are having clear aligners, then the dentist may suggest ordering new ones, or wearing the next or previous set.
If you cause damage to the braces regularly, then this will extend the treatment time. It is important to follow the advice from your dentist and keep your treatment time as short as possible.
Discomfort is normal during the first week of the treatment when braces can be adjusted or you change the aligners. You might suffer from sore teeth and gums, particularly at the time of eating. These may be soothed by rinsing with salt water and taking painkillers.
When you are wearing fixed braces, then you may find the wires and brackets rub against the cheeks and tongue. This can be prevented with the application of orthodontic wax over the parts of the brace causing minimal discomfort. You may get this from your dentist and put local anaesthetic gel to the affected area for easing the pain.
If you are having clear aligners, then the edges may rub against the gums and inner cheeks at first. This is when you get used to wearing aligners in your mouth and it should ease with time. When it does not get comfortable, speak to your dentist for advice as uncomfortable edges may be smoothed down.
If you are suffering from constant pain with aligners, braces or have any concerns, then it is important to visit your dentist quickly.
It is necessary to keep your teeth healthy for the orthodontic treatment to become successful. This will include – brushing teeth for two minutes at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, cleaning with interdental brushes daily and flossing. If you do not clean teeth regularly, then food and plaque might linger to eventually cause tooth decay and gum disease. You can even lose a tooth during the later stages of tooth decay.
Though it is possible to take out removable aligners at the time of brushing and flossing, taking care of fixed braces needs additional care. Make sure you brush along the gumline at an angle of 45-degree and brushing below the brackets. In order to clean between the brackets, it is advised to use an interdental brush. Flossing with braces might seem to be difficult though it is necessary to persevere. Floss threaders, dental tape and waxed floss can be helpful tools when wearing braces, in comparison to the traditional floss. It is suggested to consult with the dentist for getting more advice.
Your dentist may advise to visit a hygienist throughout the treatment process, give you tailored oral health advice and ensure you are cleaning properly.
Wearing braces will not stop you from playing sports till you take care to protect your smile.
If you are having fixed braces, then wear a properly designed mouthguard. This can protect the braces and ensure they do not get damaged, particularly for contact sports like rugby.
Removable aligners typically should be worn for almost 20 hours a day and so, you can usually take out your aligner at the time of playing sports. Some aligners are suitable to wear depending on the type of brace, as suggested by the dentist.
If you are worried about invisible braces and sports, then you should speak with the dentist right away. They can give advise on the right treatment that will suit your lifestyle.
It is important to take a well-balanced diet and so, your teeth remain strong and healthy throughout the treatment. Eating lots of sugar can increase the risk of tooth decay and so, it is advised to keep sugary foods and sweets to a minimum. We would advise you not to take soft and fizzy drinks and even diet ones. Though they have low or no sugar, they are highly acidic which may erode your teeth enamel.
If you protect your teeth, then it is suggested to eat three meals a day than snacks. But if you are hungry in-between meals, then we suggest choosing healthy options such as plain cheese, wholemeal bread, vegetables and fruits. When you remain thirsty, plain milk or still water is the best option. Fruit juices should be kept to mealtimes only.
Before you start with the treatment, your dentist will discuss about the entire journey which include routine check-up and review appointments. He will also discuss about a retainer to keep the teeth in new position by the end of the treatment.
If you are having any questions, or concerns during any stage, then it is important to contact your Invisalign dentist quickly.