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Tips to Care for Your Braces on the Go

Taking good care of your teeth and braces or clear aligners at home is pretty easy: you have all the tools you need and all the time you need to clean them properly. But if you’re getting out and about for work or other activities these days, it can be a little tougher to stay on track. Going to and from school, work, and home can leave you with little time for proper cleaning and care. However, one of the most important roles you play in your orthodontic treatment is keeping your braces or clear aligners clean throughout the day. Because of this, we’ve put together a list of tips to you take good care of your braces no matter how busy your day gets:

On-The-Go Braces Care Tips:

  1. Make the Most of Your Time

    A great way to make sure that you take good care of your braces when you’re at school or work is to use your time effectively. Taking a couple of minutes during your breaks or lunch period to brush your teeth, rinse and clean out your clear aligner, or get stubborn food out of your braces will help keep your orthodontic appliances clean and maintained all day long without taking extra time away from the classroom or your busy work schedule.

  2. Put a Braces Care Kit Together

    The best way to keep your braces clean and maintained on-the-go is to be prepared for anything. Putting together a braces care kit will make sure that you have everything you need whether you’re at school, work, or going out with friends. A good braces care kit should include:

    • A travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste so you can brush after meals or snacks
    • A small dental mirror to make sure you don’t miss any hard-to-see areas
    • An interproximal brush to get between brackets and wires
    • Floss picks and floss threaders so you’ll never have something stuck in your teeth
    • Extra elastic bands and an elastic band hook so you’ll have no trouble replacing bands after eating or if one breaks
    • Orthodontic wax to keep brackets and wires from rubbing and poking inside your mouth
    • Travel-size mouthwash or breath strips so you’ll always have fresh breath
    • A small carrying case so that you can keep everything together and easily accessible

    Caring for clear aligners is a little different than braces. While you won’t need elastic bands or orthodontic wax to take care of clear aligners, everything else in the braces care kit will still make it easy to keep your teeth and aligner clean during the day. Just don’t use toothpaste when cleaning your aligner! Toothpaste is slightly abrasive and can scratch up the surface of the aligner, making it look dull and more noticeable when you’re wearing it (which kind of defeats the purpose of a clear aligner, don’t you think?) Instead, use lukewarm water and a soft toothbrush; you can add a tiny bit of mild dish soap if you really need to give it a good cleaning.

  3. Stick with Braces-Friendly Food

    Whether you’re at the school cafeteria, having dinner at a friend’s house, or going out to eat with family, make sure that you pick food that won’t get stuck in your braces or damage them. Hard or crunchy food like hard bread or nuts can easily break off brackets, while sticky or chewy food like gum or candy love to get stuck in your braces and can be a pain to get out. You should also avoid food or drinks that are very sugary. Stick to soft, easily chewed food like pasta, mashed potatoes, or cooked veggies; soup, smoothies, and other liquid food or drinks are also great for braces.


At Carlson Orthodontics, we know just how powerful a great smile can be. That is why we are committed to creating a smile worth celebrating. Since 2003, our team has transformed the smiles of hundreds of patients through expertise and compassionate care; we strive to make every patient feel like a member of our family. We have several treatment options available that can fit any lifestyle and budget. To see how Carlson Orthodontics can transform your smile get in touch with us online today, or give us a call at our location nearest to you:
  • Duluth Office: 1901 South Street, Suite 2 – Duluth, MN(218) 727-3789
  • Cloquet Office: 708 Stanley Avenue – Cloquet, MN(218) 879-3794
  • Superior Office: 3701 Tower Avenue – Superior, WI(715) 392-0229
  • Hayward Office: 10541 N. Ranch Road – Hayward, WI(715) 292-5148
  • Ashland Office: 1419 Beaser Avenue – Ashland, WI(715) 682-5958
  • Ironwood Office: 250 Roosevelt Street – Ironwood, MI(906) 932-9720