If you’re considering adult braces or aligners, one thing to consider is that following a good oral hygiene routine will be more important than ever during your treatment.
Invisalign clear aligners are popular with our adult patients because they are removable, meaning that you can brush and floss your teeth easily. Even so, brushing your teeth twice a day won’t cut it any more. Even if you choose removable aligners, you will still need to brush your teeth every time you eat or drink to stop food getting trapped in your aligner or discolouring it.
Fixed adult braces, such as Six Month Smiles, need a bit more tender loving care when it comes to keeping your teeth clean during your teeth straightening treatment.
With this in mind, we always advise our patients to put together a travel oral hygiene kit for easy cleaning when they’re on the go. We asked some of our patients to tell us what their travel kit essentials are:
- A small cosmetic bag/wash bag
Choose a small wash bag or make-up bag to store everything in – that way, you can swap your adult braces oral hygiene kit from one bag to another in a matter of seconds. Look for a wipe clean surface and waterproof interior for minimum damage if any of the contents leak. If a cosmetic bag isn’t your style, a fuss-free Ziploc bag works just as well.
- Travel size mouthwash or breath spray
You won’t be able to chew chewing gum while you’re wearing braces, so many people recommend carrying around a travel size bottle of mouthwash for a quick rinse whenever they want fresher breath. Alternatively, you might want to try a fresh breath spray.
- Travel toothbrush
If you have fixed braces, you certainly won’t want to show the world what you had for lunch, so your first priority after eating will be to brush your teeth. An ordinary toothbrush for your travel kit will suffice, but some people prefer a fold-up travel toothbrush to save space in their bag and protect the bristles of the toothbrush from unnecessary damage.
If you have a set amount of time for lunch, a good tip is to factor in five to ten minutes for brushing and flossing your teeth after eating.
- Travel size toothpaste
To keep your bag as light as possible, most people opt to carry a travel toothpaste. Your dentist may even have some free travel-size toothpaste samples to give away!
- Orthodontic wax
If you have fixed adult braces and find the brackets irritating, especially during the initial days after the brace is fitted, you might want to use an orthodontic wax. This creates a smooth barrier between the fixtures of your brace and the soft tissues in your mouth, so that you can adjust to your braces in comfort.
You might also want to carry a few cotton wool buds in your oral hygiene kit as you can use these to dry the area of your mouth to which you need to apply the wax to make sure it stays put for longer. Remember to remove any wax before eating!
- Dental floss picks
When you wear adult braces, flossing isn’t generally as straightforward as it is without braces. Threads of floss can easily get caught up in the brackets of your braces. Your dentist will recommend the best tools for flossing, which is still an essential part of your daily oral hygiene routine. This might include dental floss picks or an ‘ortho flosser’.
By having dental floss picks on hand, you can remove any food debris stuck between your teeth or within your braces; this will help to protect your teeth from decay.
- Interdental angle brushes
Your dentist may also recommend that you use interdental angle brushes as these handy tools are able to get close to your brace brackets and clean anything that your toothbrush and dental floss can’t reach.
Some people recommend carrying a tube of Bonjela or Anbesol – or a similar oral anaesthetic gel or liquid – in case you experience any discomfort, especially after your brace is first fitted or an adjustment is made. Some people notice that their braces irritate slightly when their teeth have moved and the next adjustment is due. We would always recommend that you talk to your dentist about which oral pain killer they recommend. Some people find they don’t experience any irritation or discomfort but it’s helpful to be prepared.
- Compact mirror
You may also want to carry a compact mirror, so you can give your braces a quick check after eating or cleaning.
So, that’s it – the nine essentials that patients with adult braces at our Stourbridge clinic say they won’t leave home without. If you would like to find out more about adult braces in Stourbridge and the different options available to you, please call us at Lion Dental Care on 01384 376 336 to book a consultation.