Taking Care of Your Teeth During Aligner Therapy

What You Need to Know About Taking Care of Your Teeth and Mouth
Regular brushing and flossing are the keys to healthy teeth, during and after aligner therapy. If you want your teeth to look their best during your KiyoClear treatment, be sure to do the following:
  1. Brush every surface of your teeth, front, back and top, after each meal and snack.
  2. Use a soft toothbrush whenever you brush, they cause the least damage to your enamel and won’t hurt your gums.
  3. Floss at least once per day, making sure to remove all food from the interproximal spaces.
  4. Don’t quit early – you should brush for at least two minutes, thirty seconds per side upper and lower.
  5. Use a toothpaste that has fluoride or rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash.
  6. Wash your hands before handling your aligners and expanders.
  7. Don’t put your KiyoClear Aligners in unless your teeth are clean.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists you should “Carry a travel toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste with you so you can brush when you’re away from home. Bring along floss and an interproximal brush, too. If you’re in a pinch and absolutely are not in a position to brush after eating or drinking, at the very least rinse with plain water. It can help you get rid of some food particles or traces of beverages.”

Why does my toothbrush smell bad?

Many of us don’t think about the condition of our toothbrushes until they reach a sorry state. Toothbrushes which aren’t properly rinsed and cleaned can become breeding grounds for bacteria. If your toothbrush starts to smell, it is time to go. Most dentists recommend changing out your toothbrush every 60 to 90 days.

You can make your toothbrushes last longer (and not smell) by cleaning them properly after each brushing. First, rinse the brush head thoroughly with warm water. If there are still bits of food in the brush, keep rinsing! Allow the brush to dry thoroughly. We recommend storing it upright in a cup where it can dry naturally. When it’s wet, don’t store your toothbrush in a closed container. This promotes bacterial growth.

Do I need an electric toothbrush?

If you consider yourself a good brusher, you probably don’t need to use an electric toothbrush during aligner therapy, but if you are someone who needs a little nudge to do the right thing, you might consider purchasing one. 

The best thing about electric toothbrushes is that they run 2-minute cycles, ensuring that you brush the recommended amount of time. You generally get cleaner teeth with less effort when using an electric toothbrush and you don’t have to worry about pressing too hard when you brush, which can cause gingival recession.

The bottom line: A beautiful smile takes a little work, but not too much. There are 1,440 minutes in a day.  If you spend 15 of them brushing and flossing, you’ll be happy you did!

For more information on oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment, see the AAO Article “Six Must-Haves for Cleaning Teeth with Braces and Aligners When You’re On the Go”.