Brushing and Flossing with Braces

Orthodontic treatment is designed to straighten teeth, thus improving your smile. It is important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen throughout treatment. This will ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy long after we remove your braces. In order to prevent plaque build-up and unsightly “white spots” that can form around braces, we recommend you keep your teeth and appliances clean. Brushing and flossing with braces can be a bit challenging, but will pay off in the end.

How should I brush my teeth while wearing braces?

The health of your mouth after braces are removed depends on how well you take care of your teeth and gums during treatment. We recommend you use a powered toothbrush because it is specifically designed to clean around appliances. Before brushing, remove bands, elastics and any removable parts of your appliances.

  • Hold the toothbrush parallel to the floor along the side of your teeth. Carefully guide the brush head over each tooth, following the normal curve of your teeth and gums.
  • Hold the brush over each tooth for a couple of seconds. Since you are using a powered toothbrush, it is not necessary to scrub or press down hard. The brush does the work for you.
  • Remember to brush the top and inside of each tooth, as well as the back of your mouth behind the molars.
  • You can clean the brackets and underneath the wires by angling the brush against them.
  • You should get a new brush head for your powered toothbrush every three months.

Flossing with Braces

Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces, but it is important to floss your teeth every day.

  • Insert the floss threader between two teeth underneath the wires, then pull the floss through halfway.
  • Pull the floss into a c-shape when you get to the gumline.
  • Floss under the gumline using a gentle up and down motion.

Don’t Forget to Rinse

You should rinse two times a day after brushing. This not only freshens your breath, but helps prevent cavities and strengthen tooth enamel.

Cleaning your Removable Appliance

Brush your removable appliance everyday as a part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Because food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, soak the appliance at least once a week. Dissolve a Polident, Efferdent or other denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature and soak your appliance. Your appliance will taste better, and you will prevent plaque and bacterial accumulation.