Caring for Braces, Invisalign®, Retainers and other Orthodontic Appliances

For a successful experience with orthodontic appliances, here’s what you need to know:

Keep them clean. Brushing and flossing are the only way to remove food particles and plaque from your teeth, brackets, wires, and elastics. This will help to prevent cavities, puffy gums, and bad breath.

Dr. Durrett will show you how to go the extra mile with the help of floss threaders, power toothbrushes, waterpicks and fluoride toothpastes. Daily cleaning removable orthodontic appliances such as retainers or Invisalign® aligners can be achieved using your toothbrush; however, Dr. Durrett advises weekly soaking in denture cleaner (Efferdent) or white vinegar for 15 minutes followed by scrubbing with a toothbrush. She’ll also advise you to see your general dentist every 6 months for checkups and cleanings. Some patients will require more frequent cleanings every 3-4 months while in braces.

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Be careful when you eat. Foods that are chewy, sticky, hard, or crunchy can be bad for your braces, retainers, and other appliances. This can include whole apples, gum, caramels, ice, candies, bagels, certain chips, nuts and corn on the cob. You will find that foods with softer textures and foods that are cut into smaller pieces are safer and more comfortable for you. With braces, our patients can enjoy pasta, rice, fish, mashed potatoes, and even ice cream without harming their braces or teeth.

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Get comfortable. Life doesn’t stop just because you have braces. If you play sports, invest in a good, protective mouthguard. This will prevent the brackets and wires from hurting your gums or lips if you are accidentally bumped in the mouth. Orthodontic wax also helps to protect your mouth from discomfort, and we’ll be happy to show you how to use it when needed.

Talk to us! We are braces experts and we’re here to make your experience as comfortable and pleasant as possible. We aren’t here to lecture or fuss-- we’re here to show you how to care for your braces, how to eat with braces, and how to get the best results from your braces. After all, we’re family, right?

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Do you have questions about caring for your braces? Call us today and let’s chat!