Orthodontic care is constantly evolving. New techniques, treatment options, and equipment has made your experience of aligning your teeth and jaw more efficient and enjoyable than ever.
Whether you are a new patient looking to begin an orthodontic treatment and are curious about items you might need or are a current patient looking to elevate your orthodontic experience and improve your final results, keep reading to discover some products that can help!
Products For A Cleaner, Healthier And Happier Mouth
Before you began orthodontic care, you likely heard about the importance of oral hygiene from your dentist and legal guardian for most, if not all, of your life. At Central Massachusetts Orthodontic Associates, we have the same philosophy — a clean mouth is a healthier and happier mouth!
There are health and cosmetic reasons for this philosophy. A clean mouth has less plaque, bacteria, and germs that can cause tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, and other complications that can risk the overall health of your mouth and complicate your orthodontic treatment. Those health issues can lead to lasting effects on your smile and damage its cosmetic appearance.
During orthodontic treatment, oral hygiene is as important as ever. Whether you have braces covering parts of your teeth or clear aligners encasing your teeth, adequate daily cleaning is essential to achieving your smile goals. Thankfully, some products make maintaining your oral health a little bit easier.
At Central Massachusetts Orthodontic Associates, our entire team loves water flossers. These devices use jets of water to clean the teeth and gums to remove any stubborn food residue, plaque, or bacteria in hard-to-reach places.
Though people not participating in orthodontic treatment can and are encouraged to use water flossers, they are handy for orthodontic patients. Wearers of braces, for example, can use a water flosser to keep the nooks and crannies of their fixed appliances clean for healthier teeth and gums and fresher breath. Water flossers are also perfect for patients who wear removable aligners or clear braces because it helps their mouth squeaky clean and prevents stains on their clear trays.
Another essential tool for orthodontic patients is an interproximal, or an interdental, brush. These brushes are ideal for patients who have difficulty using thread floss because they are able to brush the spaces between the teeth.
The brushes are also fantastic for braces. The portable brushes are small enough to fit behind the wires and between the brackets but large enough to clean effectively. They are great for people who are constantly on the go or are frequently in places where they cannot or don’t want to use a water flosser, like work, school, or a restaurant.
Cleaning Products for Clear Aligners
If not consistently cleaned, clean aligners can have the same bacteria and plaque as the teeth and gums, producing oral health concerns. Luckily, cleaning your clear aligners is easy, and there are a few ways to do it, so you can pick the option that works best for you. Some cleaning options are using vinegar (with or without mixing with baking soda), unscented antibacterial soap, or cleaning solutions marketed for clear aligners, like the Invisalign Cleaning Crystals.
Before using any product on your clear aligners, ask your orthodontist if it is safe! Your aligners are sturdy against everyday wear and tear, but harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures, and overexposure to a product can cause damage that might make them uncomfortable or more visible when worn.
Products To Reduce Or Prevent Discomfort
Orthodontic care has never been this pleasant for patients, but it’s still not pain-free. There is an expected adjustment period when you wear a new aligner or get braces installed or tightened. During that time, you might experience discomfort or swelling. Patients who participate in sports or other physical activities risk injury to their face and their braces, which could result in pain and broken appliances.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce soreness and decrease the risk of pain by injury.
Whether it’s high contact or not, patients with braces who participate in physical activities should invest in a mouthguard. These removable trays protect the teeth and braces from damage and prevent braces from causing injury to your cheeks and lips. To learn more about mouthguards, read our blog about them here.
To reduce swelling and ease irritation, we recommend applying an ice pack to the outside of the mouth for ten minutes at a time.
Despite their custom fit, clear aligners do require the mouth to become accustomed to wearing them. Braces require similar patience as the mouth gets used to having metal in it. Sometimes, these adjustment periods can irritate the gums, cheeks, and lips resulting in canker sores and frustration.
Ask Dr. Giarusso or Dr. Livanos for orthodontic wax at your next appointment. This product can be applied as needed, creating a barrier to protect the gums, cheeks, and lips against pinching, poking, and friction.
And So Much More!
For safe and effective orthodontic care, you need to be hygienic and comfortable. Central Massachusetts Orthodontic Associates can help make both possible.
Our experienced, welcoming staff is passionate about transforming your life through your smile. To learn more about orthodontic products that we use in the office or that you can use at home, contact us at one of our three convenient locations.
We can’t wait to offer you personalized product recommendations soon!