Two women, one with Invisalign clear aligners and the other wearing braces, which have different cleaning techniques

Oral Hygiene for Invisalign vs. Braces

June 30, 2020 8:47 pm

Undergoing orthodontic treatment can be an adjustment to routine and daily dental hygiene. Although the extra time and effort are worth the results of having straight teeth, you’ll need to adapt for the first few weeks after receiving braces. Different care is required for Invisalign® and braces, so let’s break down what you need to know about oral hygiene for each orthodontic option.

How to Care for Invisalign Trays

With Invisalign, your normal techniques of brushing and flossing won’t change. However, you will do them more frequently to prevent the buildup of bacteria and food on your teeth and in your aligners. You should rinse and brush your teeth upon waking up, after meals and snacks, and before bed.

You will also need to take special care of your aligners. Don’t eat or drink anything other than water with your trays on. Take the trays out, rinse them with water, and store them in a safe place until you’re ready to put them back on.

Additionally, you’ll need to regularly clean your aligners with liquid dish soap and soak your aligners in denture cleaner or Retainer Brite®. Don’t use toothpaste because the abrasive quality of certain toothpastes can damage them.

How to Clean Braces

Metal braces and ceramic braces need special care. Use dental wax as a barrier between the brackets and your mouth tissue. This will help prevent painful contact and irritation. If you do get sores and mouth pain, gently rinse with a solution of warm water and salt, and check out this blog post.

You must continue to brush and floss every day to keep your teeth clean, but there are a few changes you’ll need to make. First, take off any rubber bands. Then, hold your soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to clean the tight areas around and in between the wires of your braces. Gently brush the surface of each tooth in a circular motion. Be sure to also brush your tongue, and to floss between every pair of teeth.

Many patients find an electric toothbrush, interdental brushes, floss threaders, and a water flosser make oral hygiene with braces easier. At your next appointment, our team can show you some once you have your braces, or check out tips on how to make flossing easier” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>this blog post.

More Questions About Orthodontic Oral Hygiene? We Have Answers!

Please contact us if you have any questions about how to care for your new aligners or braces. Proper oral hygiene care throughout your orthodontic treatment is critical to keep your oral health and the straightening process on track!


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