Straightening your child’s teeth is an excellent way to restore their confidence and improve their self-esteem. Affordable braces do more than just correct malocclusions. They improve facial structure, sort out TMJ issues, and improve oral health. It is no wonder that over 3.5 million kids across the nation turn to orthodontic treatment every year.
Concerns Over Traditional Metal Braces
Children and teens make up to 75% of all patients wearing braces. They may be at a critical stage and constantly battling self-esteem issues. Shiny brackets and wires running across their teeth may not help to instill a positive self-image. Invisible braces such as Invisalign are ideal orthodontic solutions to combat self-esteem issues.
Invisalign utilizes a set of clear, plastic trays to gradually apply pressure on teeth, pushing them to their correct positions. The average treatment time is approximately twelve months, and the invisible braces have a satisfaction rate of 96%. To achieve the best results, your child may have to carefully look after their braces and teeth.
Here are dos and don’ts for caring for invisible braces.
1. Do: Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene
Invisible braces are a popular option among teens as they can be removed to brush and floss teeth. It is essential to maintain your dental hygiene habits with your braces. Food particles stuck between the clear plates and your teeth can cause discoloration or worse decay. Cleaning your teeth ensures that there isn’t any bacterial build-up under the aligners.
2. Don’t: Consume Colored Foods or Beverages With Braces On
Colored foods or drinks can easily stain your translucent aligners. Your child may need to remove the clear plates before consuming their favorite fruit juices or colored water. To learn more about the foods that your child may need to avoid, talk to your orthodontic specialist.
3. Do: Rinse Your Braces After Removing Them
Orthodontic specialists recommend wearing Invisalign braces for 20-22 hours a day for effective treatment. However, your child may have to take the aligners off when eating or brushing teeth. Your kid needs to rinse the clear plates immediately to prevent bacteria growth. Rinsing washes away the saliva and oral bacteria on the invisible braces before storing them in the case.
4. Don’t: Use Toothpaste to Clean Your Invisible Braces
You may need to clean your braces regularly to prevent discoloration. Orthodontists often advise against using toothpaste or colored soaps to clean. Toothpaste contains abrasive compounds that can scratch the smooth surface of the aligners. The scratches may cause discomfort and harbor bacteria in the crevices.
Use a soft toothbrush, antibacterial soap, and lukewarm water, gently brush the aligners. Hot or cold water can damage the plastic aligners. Vigorously brushing the surface can leave scratches and marks that can destroy the invisible braces’ aesthetics.
5. Do: Soak Them for Deeper Cleaning
Your orthodontic specialist may recommend using the two to three hours that you take off your braces to soak them in cleaning crystals or equal parts of lukewarm water and vinegar. Let the invisible braces soak for at least 30 minutes to get rid of any bacteria accumulating on your aligner’s surface.
6. Do: Wash Your Hands Before Handling Your Aligners
Everyone should wash their hands before handling aligners. Handling the aligners without washing puts you at risk of transferring harmful germs onto the clear plates.
7. Do: Avoid Chewing Gummy Candies and Gum
Gummy candies are a favorite among children and some teens. If they want to maintain their invisible braces, they will need to exercise self-control. Sugary treats can stick to your child’s white or transparent aligners. Tougher stains, such as those left by gum, can leave marks on the clear plates that are difficult to remove. It is best to avoid gummies and chewing gum when wearing Invisalign braces.
Proper care for your braces is critical for successful orthodontic treatment. For more information on how to take care of your teeth and invisible braces, reach out to our team at Nowlin Orthodontics.