The journey to having the perfect set of teeth is not always an easy one, but the results are certainly worth it. For years, orthodontic braces were the primary option for straightening teeth, but now, the use of aligners has eliminated the embarrassing brace face look by providing a comfortable, discrete solution that can help you achieve your desired set of teeth. The importance of maintaining a clean mouth increases while using aligners, so we researched 5 tips to remember if you decide to straighten your teeth with this method.
- Brush your teeth after meals
Your mouth can be a natural camping ground for bacteria if it is not brushed at least twice a day and after every meal if you are wearing aligners. When you don’t brush your teeth after eating and then replace your aligners in your mouth, you are trapping food between your teeth, which increases the chances of cavities, bacterial build-ups and staining. Research shows that by brushing your teeth after you eat, you eliminate chances of harmful bacteria attacking your teeth.
- Floss often
Flossing is essential to removing food stuck between your teeth. When it comes to preventing tooth loss and protecting the gums, flossing is even more important than brushing your teeth. Despite the importance of flossing, only about 50% of Americans floss. There is no point in spending a large amount of money to get your teeth straight if you are not taking care of them and taking preventive measures to keep them healthy.
- Avoid foods that stain
Many things can stain your teeth, especially when you are wearing aligners. Orthodontists advise only drinking water while wearing your aligners, and any colorful, carbonated or acidic drinks should be avoided. Teeth whitening kits are usually sent out with aligner kits or can be easily purchased online. Your aligners need to be treated like your teeth and cared for just the same to avoid being stained. When cleaning your aligners, it is important to follow the directions provided to you by your dentist or orthodontist.
- Avoid candy or sweets
Having too much candy or sweets while wearing your aligners can increase your risk of developing gingivitis or cavities, especially if you are not frequently brushing your teeth. If it is sticky, hard or gooey, don’t eat it! These types of candies can stick to your teeth for a long time and cause major issues.
- Clean your aligners
This seems like a no-brainer, but believe it or not a lot of people forget to clean their aligners. Always rinse them off with warm water every time you take them off to eat or drink. Wash them morning and night with clear antibacterial soap, not toothpaste. Aligner companies like Invisalign provide specialized cleaning crystals to soak your aligners for cleaning, but regular brushing of aligners is also ok.