How to Care for Your Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatments are a commitment to achieving a straighter, more attractive smile. But while braces or aligners work their magic, it’s crucial to maintain impeccable oral hygiene. Why? To ensure that once those orthodontic devices come off, your teeth are not just straight but also in pristine condition. Dr. Sanket Upadhyay of Birch Point Dental Clinic in Thunder Bay, ON, outlines essential practices for those navigating the orthodontic journey.

1. Brushing: Precision Matters

With orthodontic devices in place, food particles find more nooks to hide in. Hence:

  • Frequency: Brush after every meal, ensuring that no food remains trapped.
  • Technique: Tilt your brush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line and move in a circular motion. For braces, ensure you brush above and below the brackets.
  • Tools: Use an interdental or orthodontic toothbrush for those hard-to-reach areas.

2. Flossing: The Essential Step

Flossing with braces might seem daunting, but it’s indispensable.

  • Floss Threaders: These handy tools make it easier to get floss behind the wires.
  • Water Flossers: If traditional flossing is challenging, consider using a water flosser. It uses a pressurized stream of water to clean between teeth and around braces.

3. Avoid Certain Foods

Some foods aren’t just harmful for your braces but can compromise your oral health.

  • Sticky or Hard Foods: Caramels, gummies, popcorn, nuts, and ice can damage orthodontic devices and increase the risk of cavities.
  • Highly Pigmented Foods: Beetroot, curries, or berries might stain clear braces or elastics.

4. Embrace a Balanced Diet

An oral-friendly diet speeds up orthodontic treatment and keeps gum diseases at bay.

  • Calcium and Phosphorus: Cheese, yogurt, and almonds strengthen the enamel.
  • Vitamin C: Crucial for gum health, it’s abundant in citrus fruits, tomatoes, and peppers.

5. Protect Your Investment

If you’re into sports or physical activities, consider using a mouthguard. This shields your orthodontic devices and prevents potential injuries.

6. Regular Orthodontic and Dental Check-ups

While you’ll have scheduled visits to adjust your braces or check your aligners, don’t neglect regular dental cleanings. Professional cleanings keep cavities and gum diseases in check.

7. Know When to Reach Out

If you notice any issues with your orthodontic device, such as a broken wire, loose bracket, or if your aligner doesn’t fit correctly, contact your orthodontist promptly. Timely interventions prevent prolonged treatments.

8. Mindful Practices for Aligner Users

For those using clear aligners:

  • Wear Them Consistently: Aim for 20-22 hours a day, removing them only during meals or while brushing.
  • Clean Regularly: Rinse every time you remove them and clean them daily using the prescribed solutions.

Brace for a Brilliant Smile with Birch Point Dental Clinic

Orthodontic treatments are a journey, and like any journey, the right practices make the road smoother. Dr. Sanket Upadhyay emphasizes, “Your commitment extends beyond just wearing the devices. It’s about preserving the health underneath.” With proper care, once your braces or aligners come off at Birch Point Dental Clinic, you’ll unveil not just a straighter, but a healthier smile. Embarking on or navigating through an orthodontic journey in Thunder Bay? Dr. Upadhyay and his team are here to guide. Reach out to us at (807) 698-8838.


  1. American Association of Orthodontists. “Caring for Braces.” mylifemysmile.org.
  2. Colgate. “Oral Care During Orthodontic Treatment.” Colgate.com.
  3. WebMD. “Dental Care with Orthodontic Braces and Retainers.” WebMD.com.

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Dr. Sanket Upadhyay


Dr. Sanket completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree in India in 2011 and obtained his Canadian dental license in 2016. He is a member in good standing with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, the Ontario Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Sanket regularly pursues continuing education through dental conferences and courses to enhance his knowledge and be at the forefront of advances in dentistry.

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