Kristo Orthodontics can answer all your questions about caring for your orthodontic appliances.
A beautiful smile is worth the maintenance
Adjusting to your orthodontic appliance goes beyond the physical changes in your mouth—your oral hygiene will also require some adjustment. Properly taking care of your appliance throughout orthodontic treatment is vital for a healthy smile. The instructions below share more about taking care of braces, Invisalign® clear aligners, or your retainer. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, please check in with us. Our experienced orthodontic care specialists are here to make sure you get the best results from your treatment.
Protecting your braces while eating
Modern technology means sturdier braces, but you still need to be careful and avoid foods that could damage your orthodontic appliance. Softer foods are recommended (mmm, mac & cheese…), especially after an appointment when your mouth may be sore. When in doubt, take it slow or avoid it altogether.
Avoid sticky foods
Avoid high-sugar and high-acidity drinks
Cut food into smaller pieces
Enjoy soft, braces-friendly foods
Our guide to eating with braces
Some foods and drinks to avoid
Taffy, Starburst®, Skittles®, caramels, Mike and Ike®, Now&Later®, Tootsie Rolls®, gummy candies
Ice cubes, hard candies, beef jerky, hard granola bars, suckers, hard bread, popcorn kernels (fully popped popcorn is OK)
Soda, diet soda, Gatorade®, juice, Powerade®, energy drinks
Foods and drinks you can enjoy
Yogurt, pudding, bananas, grapes, oranges, fruits without pits, crackers, cheese, mashed potatoes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ravioli, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese and many other pasta dishes
Water, milk, Crystal Light®, GatoradeG2®, Propel®
Clear aligners need care, too
Sure, your Invisalign clear aligners can easily come on and off, and people enjoy that flexibility when eating and drinking. But with great power comes great responsibility, which means you must keep track of them and clean them frequently.
Clean your aligners regularly
Disinfect your aligners every day
Keep your aligners safe
Apply and remove your aligners carefully
We recommend using these products during treatment for proper orthodontic care
We recommend Retainer Brite® cleaner tablets which are available for purchase at the front desk.
You may use EverSmile® WhiteFoam or Steraligner daily to help keep your aligners fresh, whiten teeth and help with dry mouth.
Gum or breath mints
If you do not have a toothbrush available, rinse with water and chew a piece of sugar-free gum that contains xylitol for 10 minutes before putting your aligners back in. Do not chew gum with your aligners in. You may suck on sugar-free mints.
Taking care of your retainer is essential to preserving your smile
Orthodontic care doesn’t end once your braces or aligners are removed. Retainers are stabilizers, keeping your teeth happy and secure in their new position. Take care of your retainer, and you take care of your teeth – for a lifetime. But if you lose your retainer, or if it no longer fits properly, let us know and we’ll get you back on track.
Clean your retainer regularly
Apply and remove your retainer carefully
Keep your retainer safe
Replace your retainer when necessary
After your braces come off, your teeth will want to continue shifting. Your retainer (some are removable, some are fixed) stops that, holding your teeth in their perfect new positions.
Wearing it is everything (you’ve come so far), so…wear it. With pride! Your Kristo Orthodontics team will show you how to care for your retainer and explain how long you’ll need to use it.