Keeping your teeth, gums, and orthodontic appliances clean over the course of care is of the utmost importance. Food and plaque are easily trapped in the tiny spaces between your braces as well as underneath your removable appliances or aligners. In the absence of good oral hygiene you are at an increased risk of developing dental decay, areas of decalcification or stains on your teeth. Furthermore, your gums can become irritated and inflamed and you may even develop a dental infection.
Brushing after every meal, and flossing at least once a day, is the best way to insure that your teeth and gums remain healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment. It is also recommended that you brush your teeth after eating snacks. However, if you don’t have a toothbrush on hand at this time, you can clean occasionally clean your mouth by rinsing vigorously with water. You may also consider adding other useful items like a floss threader, a small interdental toothbrush (proxabrush), or an oral irrigator (water pick) to your dental care toolkit to assist you in keeping your appliances, as well as all of the small spaces around your braces, clean.
Make sure to see your general dentist regularly for routine care and to have a thorough dental cleaning.