Cleaning Must-Haves for Braces or Aligners when you’re on the Go

Brushing and flossing with braces

Sometimes you want to leave the Raleigh, Cary or Garner areas to venture out and see other parts of North Carolina or other areas of the country. When you set sail on an excursion, you want to make sure you are prepared to keep up with your oral health.

Patients with any type of orthodontic appliance should be cleaning their teeth multiple times a day. When you’re on the go, sometimes it can be difficult to stay on top of your oral hygiene. Do your teeth a favor and be prepared. Make sure to pack portable items in a backpack, purse, school locker or briefcase so you’ll be rewarded with a healthy and beautiful smile. Here are five must-haves for cleaning teeth when you’re out and about.

  1. Water.

It’s your friend. And it’s readily available at bathroom sinks. After eating, or after drinking a sugary and/or acidic beverage, if you realize your toothbrush is nowhere to be found, give your mouth a thorough rinse with plain water. Swish it around to get rid of food particles or traces of beverages. Water even helps to decrease the decay-causing acidity of your mouth. A water rinse is not as good as brushing, but it’s much better than allowing materials to remain on, and in between, teeth.

  1. A toothbrush.

Even without toothpaste, brushing removes food and plaque and will help you keep your teeth healthy. A travel toothbrush takes up about half the space of a regular toothbrush so can you save space while having enough to get the job done.

  1. Floss.

Use for the space between the arch wire and the teeth, and especially under the gumline. Some brands come in single-use packets, which take up next-to-no space. Those with aligners may be able to use a flosser if that’s the tool you prefer. A bonus: minty floss freshens breath, too.

  1. A mirror.

A pocket mirror can be handy when you brush. A post-brush check will reveal whether anything unwanted is still there. An alternative: use the selfie camera on your smartphone.

  1. Toothpaste.

Travel-sized tubes are convenient.

Consider these “nice-to-haves,” too:

  • Orthodontic wax – if a bracket or wire rubs a sore spot, wax quickly puts a stop to the irritation.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen – great to have on hand. Students may be required to leave such medicines with the school nurse.

A little extra effort at home and on-the-go will help tremendously in shaping your new smile!