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Do I still visit my dentist for dental cleanings with braces or clear aligners?

February 15, 2024

If you have braces or Invisalign®/Clarity™ 3M™ clear aligners, should you continue visiting your dentist every 6 months for professional cleanings? Can your dentist still clean your teeth if you’re wearing braces?

Spoiler alert – YES, it’s actually essential that you still visit your dentist throughout your orthodontic treatment!

Here’s everything you need to know:


Before you begin treatment

Before you begin treatment, it’s important that you receive a professional cleaning from your dentist at least 6 months prior to your initial orthodontic exam. We want to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and ready to support your new smile!

Throughout your orthodontic treatment with any type of braces or clear aligners, it’s important that you visit your dentist every six months (or as frequently as your dentist requests) for professional cleanings. Your regular orthodontic check-ins and your regular dental cleanings are both essential for creating a beautiful, healthy smile.


Can you get your teeth cleaned with braces on?

Yes! Your orthodontic treatment shouldn’t impact your dental health. Your regular cleanings are as important as ever. Even with braces, plaque and tartar are still building up. In fact, brackets and wires provide more places for plaque and tartar to accumulate.

Your dentist has likely performed a number of dental cleanings with braces and has taken care of plenty of other patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. Dentists are prepared for this! They have special dental tools that work around brackets to remove hardened plaque on your brackets and around your brackets.

Your dentist knows how to floss between your teeth and archwires effectively, without damaging your appliances. In some cases, we may temporarily remove your archwires if your dentist needs to reach a certain area.

Teeth cleaning with braces may take a little longer than when you didn’t have braces, but it’s important that your dentist has time to clean your teeth thoroughly.

Can you get x-rays with braces?

Yes you can! You should have x-rays taken regularly, as advised by your dentist. Although your braces are made of metal brackets and wires, they’re safe to undergo x-rays.

Routine x-rays are important for detecting tooth decay (cavities) that may not be apparent at first glance.


How often should I clean my teeth with braces?

Ideally, you’ll brush your teeth after each meal to keep your braces debris-free. This is the best (and easiest) way to prevent bacteria buildup and ensure beautiful results at the end of your treatment.

It’s a good idea to carry a braces care kit when you’re at school or work, with a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste, or disposable Colgate® Wisp™ mini brushes for a quick and convenient brushing.


Teeth cleaning with Invisalign or 3M aligners

Dental cleanings are a bit easier with clear aligners. You simply remove your clear aligners for your regular dental cleanings. You may have attachments or buttons with your clear aligners, but they are easy to clean around.

When cleaning your teeth during clear aligner treatment at home, you’ll remove your aligners to brush your teeth and floss your teeth, so you won’t have to make many adjustments to your oral care routine.


Have questions about dental cleaning with braces or clear aligners?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We’re here to guide you through orthodontic treatment and ensure that you achieve beautiful, lifelong results. If you’re looking for advice – or just want to chat about your child’s treatment – we’re here for you.

Dr. Battle and our experienced team will go over your recommended treatment options on your first visit.

Ready to get started? Request your complimentary consultation with your experienced orthodontist in Waterford Lakes (Orlando) or Winter Springs (Oviedo), FL.

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