The Best Ways to Use Mouthwash with Braces or Aligners
It’s always important to keep your smile fresh by keeping up with regular cleaning, but it’s especially crucial when you are in orthodontic treatment with braces. Even though it will be easier to avoid cavities and tooth decay after your treatment is over and your teeth are straight, you will be at a higher risk of plaque buildup during treatment. One way to improve your cleaning routine is to use mouthwash.
Cleaning Your Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment
When you have braces or clear aligners, you are generally more at risk of developing cavities due to plaque buildup. When it comes to braces, the brackets and wires can easily trap food particles, and it’s also harder to thoroughly brush with braces. If you have clear aligners, like Candid or Invisalign, you’re not quite off the hook. While you don’t need to worry about food snagging on metal pieces when you have removable aligners, there’s another problem that arises when you put your aligners back on. Since the trays fit over the whole surface of your teeth, anything that’s left on your teeth is essentially trapped, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
At this point, you might be wondering, “So, why would an orthodontist prescribe me a treatment that increases my chance of tooth decay?” Well, for one, your straighter teeth will be much easier to clean, leading to fantastic oral health moving forward. Also, it’s very possible to avoid bacteria buildup when you have braces or Invisalign by brushing after every meal and flossing at least once per day.
When you are in the middle of your orthodontic treatment, it’s a great idea to supplement your cleaning routine by rinsing with mouthwash. An alcohol-based mouthwash will effectively kill much of the bacteria remaining in your mouth after you’ve brushed and flossed, reducing your chances of tooth decay.
In addition, you’ll be able to better combat bad breath during orthodontic treatment. Both clear aligners and traditional braces can cause bad breath due to lingering bacterial buildup in your mouth. Between the bacteria-killing agents in the mouthwash and strong minty flavor, you can effectively freshen your breath when you add rinsing with mouthwash to your cleaning routine.
Things to Remember When Using Mouthwash
The most important thing to remember when supplementing your cleaning with mouthwash is that it is not a replacement for brushing or flossing. You should still continue to brush after each meal and floss at least once per day even when you add mouthwash to your daily teeth-cleaning routine.
Additionally, you also don’t want to misuse mouthwash. For instance, some people may try to use mouthwash as a soaking solution for their Invisalign trays. While soaking your aligners is a good idea, you should stick to the dissolvable cleaning crystals or denture cleaner. The mouthwash can be a bit too harsh for the aligners and the blue or green color could stain them.
Schedule your free consultation with us here at The Smile Store today to learn more about life during orthodontic treatment and see which treatment options are best for you!