Taking the best care of your teeth should always involve habits like brushing, flossing, and making it to your regularly scheduled dental appointments for checkups and cleanings. Sometimes, it also involves wearing an oral appliance.
Straightening your teeth with braces or Invisalign, wearing a retainer, an oral sleep appliance, or dentures all make it very important to maintain excellent dental hygiene. But you also need to know how to care for your appliances, whether you can take them out of your mouth or not! After all, the healthier the tissues are around them, the fewer problems you’ll experience later on.
Fixed in Place
One type of “appliance” that would be fixed in place is a set of braces. You may also have dental bridgework to care for, or a set of implant retained dentures (such as “All-on-4” treatments.)
Each of these devices have small gaps that can trap food particles, attracting bacteria. Rinse and brush carefully after meals to remove any remaining pieces of food and floss well to prevent plaque buildup. A water flosser may be an ideal tool for this need, as it concentrates the water into a tiny stream, perfect for blasting away plaque. But if you don’t have a water flosser, an interproximal “proxy” brush or floss threaders may be the next best thing to get in those tiny spaces, like between a bridge and your gums.
Appliances You Can Remove
One of the best things about modern dentistry is that the appliances we use to correct your smile no longer have to stay in your mouth 24-7. They can be removed for eating and cleaning, allowing you to have a healthier treatment and less risk.
Each kind of removable dental appliance has its own way to be cleaned, so you should familiarize yourself with the correct techniques to get the most from your treatment and limiting the risk to adjacent teeth:
- Invisalign: Remove Invisalign from your mouth while eating and drinking anything but water. Brush your teeth and thoroughly rinse the aligner before putting it back in. Brush Invisalign daily with a soft brush and non-abrasive toothpaste.
- Oral Sleep Appliance and Retainers: Rinse well in the morning, brush with a soft bristled brush, but not toothpaste (which can be abrasive.) Depending on the materials used in the appliance, you can store it in water during the day, or dry it off and store it in the case provided by Dr. Agarwal.
- Dentures and Partials. Be gentle when removing your dentures. Using a soft denture brush, remove any adhesive and food particles. Brush the teeth portion as well as the plastic “plate” made to look like your gums. Once you’ve finished brushing them, rinse them off and place them in water overnight. Use a denture cleaner overnight to keep your dentures fresh and clean. You’ll also need to clean and care of your gums each day for a good, comfortable fit.
No matter what kind of device you have in your mouth, Dr. Agarwal can help you get the most out of it while maintaining optimal oral health. Contact Raleigh Dental Arts today for a consultation!