When getting your teeth straightened, both metal braces and Invisalign are excellent options, and two of the most popular choices for orthodontic treatment. Each of them has their respective pros and cons, but at the end of the day, both can lead to a straighter, beautifulsmile that you can enjoy for life.
But when it comes to taking care of your metal braces or Invisalign aligners, what should you know? Here’s how you can take the best care of your fixed or removable orthodontic appliances to have a healthy smile throughout your treatment!
Metal Braces: Flossing Aids Are Essential
Metal braces aren’t removable—they’ll be bonded to your teeth during your treatment to shift teeth into place. While you can’t take them off, keeping them clean is essential. However, many patients with metal braces struggle to properly floss their teeth as a result of wires that make traditional flossing challenging.
The good news is that there are plenty of options for flossing aids. Flossing aids are tools that help you thread floss underneath your metal wires to properly clean between your teeth, even with braces. You can also use a water flosser, which shoots a stream of water between teeth, and has been shown to help reduce gum inflammation .
Invisalign: Remember to Remove and Brush
Invisalign, on the other hand, can be removed, and you should remove your aligners to brush them at least once a day when receiving orthodontic treatment with Invisalign. Like any type of retainer or mouthguard, Invisalign aligners can accumulate plaque and bacteria, and should be gently brushed daily to remove buildup of harmful substances that can impact your oral health and even cause bad breath.
Since you can remove Invisalign aligners, you won’t have any trouble with regular flossing or brushing, which is one benefit that Invisalign treatment has over regular braces!
Metal Braces: Consider Going Electric
Brushing with metal braces can be challenging as well, as normal toothbrushes may be too large to get in between the brackets and wires to actually clean the tooth’s surface. Fortunately, when wearing metal braces, you have the option of switching to an electric toothbrush.
An electric toothbrush offers a few benefits for people with metal braces. First, the brush head is smaller, which can help you clean between brackets to remove plaque and bacteria from the tooth’s surface. Second, evidence shows that electric toothbrushes better clean teeth in general, regardless of whether you’re wearing an orthodontic appliance . Third, electric toothbrushes are easier to maneuver when brushing teeth, which can make them easier to use, especially when wearing metal braces.
Invisalign: Swap Out Aligners as Directed
Since Invisalign aligners are removable, you’ll not only need to remember to wear them for the recommended time each day (typically a minimum of 20 hours), but to swap them out as directed by your orthodontist. Unlike metal braces, Invisalign aligners need to be changed every few weeks, meaning you’ll get a new set of aligners to continue shifting your teeth into place. Without swapping your aligners as directed, your smile won’t improve and your treatment time can take longer, so always follow your orthodontist’s instructions for your care when wearing Invisalign.
Whether you have metal braces or Invisalign, taking care of your orthodontic appliances is essential to having a healthy and beautiful smile when your treatment is complete. Ask your orthodontist about more tricks to keep your teeth clean when receiving orthodontic treatment!