Six Must-Haves for Cleaning Teeth with Braces or Aligners When You’re on the Go

Patients with any type of orthodontic appliance should be cleaning their teeth multiple times a day. Situations inevitably come up when you’re on the go and need to freshen up.

Do your teeth a favor and be prepared. Stash portable items in a backpack, purse, school locker or briefcase. You’ll be rewarded with a healthy and beautiful smile when treatment wraps up. Here are six must-haves for cleaning teeth on the go. 1. Water. It’s your friend. And it’s readily available at bathroom sinks. After eating, or after drinking a sugary and/or acidic beverage, if you realize your toothbrush is nowhere to be found, give your mouth a thorough rinse with plain water. Swish it around to get rid of food particles or traces of beverages. Water even helps to decrease the decay-causing acidity of your mouth. A water rinse is not as good as brushing, but it’s much better than allowing materials to remain on, and in between, teeth. 2. A toothbrush. Even without toothpaste, brushing removes food and plaque and will help you keep your teeth healthy. A travel toothbrush takes up about half the space of a regular toothbrush. But if you prefer a full-sized toothbrush, we won’t argue with you. 3. An interproximal brush. This is a remarkable little tool. It’s small and very easy to carry along. Use it to get at food that’s stuck around brackets, between the archwire and teeth, and in between teeth. It’s effective at attacking plaque, too. You may develop such a great appreciation for your interproximal brush that you continue using it after you complete your orthodontic treatment! 4. Floss. Also for cleaning between teeth, the space between the archwire and the teeth, and especially under the gumline. If you have braces, be sure a floss threader is stowed with your floss. That is, unless you are using “pre-threaded” floss, pre-cut to length and with an aglet tip (like a shoelace). Some brands come in single-use packets, which take up next-to-no space. Those with aligners may be able to use a flosser, if that’s the tool you prefer. A bonus: minty floss freshens breath, too. 5. A mirror. A pocket mirror can be handy when you brush. A post-brush check will reveal whether anything unwanted is still there. An alternative: use the selfie camera in your smart phone. 6. Toothpaste. Travel-sized tubes are convenient. Consider these “nice-to-haves,” too:
  • Orthodontic wax – if a bracket or wire rubs a sore spot, wax quickly puts a stop to the irritation.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen – great to have on hand. Students may be required to leave such medicines with the school nurse.
A little extra effort at home and away pays big dividends in shaping your new smile! The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is open exclusively to orthodontists – only orthodontists are admitted for membership. The only doctors who can call themselves “orthodontists” have graduated from dental school and then successfully completed the additional two-to-three years of education in an accredited orthodontic residency program. When you choose an AAO orthodontist for orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a specialist orthodontist, an expert in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics who possesses the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Locate AAO orthodontists through Find an Orthodontist at aaoinfo.org.

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Traditional Braces or Invisalign

Traditional braces make use of metal wires to move the position of your teeth while Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic trays to help move your teeth into proper position.  Both Traditional braces and Invisalign are great at correcting issues caused by crooked teeth. Traditional dental braces will use use a system of metal brackets and wires that, when properly used, can properly align and straighten your teeth.  Even the most difficult and complicated issues for tooth alignment can be corrected using traditional metal braces.  Orthodontist, ortodontics, Invisalign uses clear, plastic trays that are worn 24 hours a day with normal changes in the tray every two weeks.  X-rays, pictures and impressions are use to create a precise 3-D image of your teeth to configure your aligner trays.    The bi weekly changes have minor adjustments that slowly move your teeth into position.  Since these trays are clear plastic, they are almost invisible when worn.  Most people with more complex dental issues still prefer to use traditional dental braces.  Your Orthodontist will be able to offer you the best option for your specific needs. So are traditional braces better then invisalign?  It really comes down to deciding what the specific need is.  Depending on what each individual patient needs is the best way to determine the best option.  Certain issues with your back teeth, or the need to rotate teeth or move them vertically can make Traditional braces your only option.  Your Orthodontist will recommend the most effective solution to perfect your smile.

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Retainer doesn’t fit?

You have waited a long time to get your braces removed, but your orthodontic treatment isn't finished yet!

Right after your braces come off, orthodontic patients will receive their retainers.  Sometimes after patients have their braces off we may get a few calls asking why their retainer no longer fits. One reason why this may occur is because something may have happened to distort the shape of the retainer. Clear/plastic retainers can be affected by hot liquids as the heat can warp them.  If they distort just a tiny bit, it can affect how your retainer fits in your mouth.  Traditional wire and acrylic retainers can become distorted by putting the retainer in your mouth incorrectly or stepping or sitting on it.  Brookfield ortodontics, ortodontists, braces,brookfield

Unfortunately, the main reason we see a retainer not fitting is because the retainer is not being warn according to the details given to patients when they receive them.

Keep in mind, that a retainer helps keep your teeth in place after the use of braces.  In order for your teeth to straighten, they will loosen in the process along with the ligaments that hold them in place.  It is natural for the ligaments to want to pull your teeth back to their original position.  By using a retainer, it allows your teeth to tighten back up with the ligaments in the new position. Patients may notice that if they don't wear their retainer, their teeth can drift back to where they were before.  Your orthodontist will recommend the amount of time needed to wear the retainer as everyone's teeth respond differently to treatment. If you happen to lose your retainer, it is very important that you contact your orthodontist's office as soon as possible to be fit for a new retainer.  The longer you wait, the better chance of your teeth drifting back into their old positions.  

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