Chances are that once you started wearing aligners, you also upped your game when it comes to your teeth brushing and flossing routine. Without aligners or braces, it’s too easy to get lazy about dental hygiene. Aligners get both your teeth and your habits back on track.

How often is often enough? The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice a day, for two minutes, or after any meal. However, brushing and flossing more often, with a soft or medium-soft brush will not do any harm. Many dentists do say that you should avoid overly firm brushes, and that you should make sure to ‘brush correctly’.

What is proper brushing technique?

  1. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  2. Gently move the brush across your individual teeth, up and down and across.
  3. Make sure you brush all quadrants: front & back, outside and inside & the chewing surfaces of your teeth. A lot of people skip the inside, which is one of the most important places to brush!
  4. Brush for a full 2 minutes. Most people don’t brush long enough. If you feel tempted to cheat, use a timer.
  5. Brushing your tongue also helps remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

Taking your aligners out to brush your teeth is much easier than brushing with traditional braces. With braces, the orthodontist even gives you a special pointy brush to clean between the brackets with. But with aligners, you can remove them and brush your teeth the way you normally would.

Brushing your teeth every time after you eat is very important during your aligner treatment. Particles of food are not something you want trapped between the aligners and the surfaces of your teeth. Don’t give the gunk any time to be trapped next to your enamel, when you could be brushing and flossing after every meal instead!