If you are preparing to start orthodontic treatment, there’s a lot for you to consider. Which kind of treatment should you choose? How will it change your appearance? How will you keep your teeth clean? These are all good questions that deserve your time and attention, as well as an amazing team to help you find the answers!
When you decide to get orthodontic treatment at McGrory Orthodontics, you will have our entire team of professionals by your side to walk you through each step and give our opinion on how best to care for you and your smile. One of the things we understand well is the kinds of devices and products that can help make your treatment easier, smoother, and headache-free. Let’s learn about which products you might need!
Why you might need special products
Each person’s orthodontic treatment is unique because each patient is unique! Some people are highly sensitive to pain and need more pain-management tools, while others struggle with certain textures, or creating new habits. Depending on which treatment you are using and your particular needs, some of these products might be more useful than others.
We are sorting products into two general categories: products for braces, and products for aligners. There are many kinds of braces available now, but these suggestions should be helpful for almost all of them. In the aligner category, this could refer to either Invisalign retainers or the removable retainers that you wear after finishing other orthodontic treatments to maintain your smile.
Products for braces
If you find that your braces are causing some irritation along the soft and sensitive inside of your mouth, braces wax is an easy fix! Also called dental wax, this type of wax is easy to find and easy to use. Simply wash your hands, take a small pinch of wax, and roll it between your fingers to warm and soften it. Then match the sore spot in your mouth to the adjacent bracket and squish the wax over it. This should create a protective barrier that should last for a few hours, though be cautious about remembering to remove it before eating or drinking.
You can easily replace this wax throughout the day as necessary and wear it as often as you need to until your mouth starts feeling better. There are several options as well, with different flavors, or clear dots. It doesn’t matter much which one you choose as long as it works for you and increases your general comfort during treatment.
Floss threader or water flosser
We have had many patients over the years complain about how difficult it is to maintain good flossing habits with braces on. We understand this, as it does require a little extra diligence to weave the floss underneath each and every wire to reach each tooth. The truth is that keeping your teeth clean while your braces are on is more important than ever and we don’t recommend slacking off just because it’s tedious.
There are a few products that can help ease your floss issues, including floss threaders and water flossers. Threaders work similarly to a sewing needle, where you connect the floss through the eye of the threader and then use it to pull under each wire. It’s a really simple approach, and our office will supply you with some of these after you have your braces put on!
Another option is to buy a water flosser. These are fairly easy to purchase in stores or online and can be purchased at different price points. Water flossers clean between your teeth and around your brackets by shooting a fine stream of water to blast away plaque and debris. These have been proven to be safe to use with braces, and are a great alternative to floss if you are struggling to maintain that habit.
Brushing your teeth should be a huge priority while you have braces on, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t make it easier on yourself! Electric toothbrushes simplify the cleaning process, especially when you have to navigate around brackets and metal to get all the crevices clean. Definitely consider an electric toothbrush if you are struggling to keep your teeth clean with braces on.
Mouthguards are especially important for sporty folks. Keeping your mouth and teeth safe while playing sports is always important, but it’s a good idea to be especially cautious when you are wearing braces. Falls and bumps to the face can cause a lot of extra pain than necessary with braces on your teeth, so be sure to find a mouthguard that is comfortable and works for you during those kinds of activities. Ask Dr. McGrory, Dr. McCarty or our hygienists for their suggestions, they can help you out!
Products for clear aligners
One of the great things about aligners is how little maintenance and care they require since they aren’t fixed inside of your mouth. But for that very reason, they do need to be cleaned daily and with care in order to keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Regular daily brushing usually does the trick, but if you notice your retainer getting dingy or having build-up over time, then you can consider a special cleaning solution or soak to remove the grime.
These cleaning products can often be bought at the drugstore, and you can use something as simple as a denture cleaner like Polident. You can often find products specific for retainers as well. After soaking in this solution, you should be able to brush and rinse away any grime, leaving your retainer sparkling clean!
The most important accessory for your retainers is your retainer case. Because retainers need to be removed often during eating and drinking, and often in public as well, you will want to have extra cases that you can carry with you to school, work, and otherwise. This makes it easy to quickly and discreetly stash your retainer, and keeps it safe from being lost or accidentally thrown away!