How to Brush With Braces

Nov 15, 2017

Many orthodontics patients wonder how exactly you are supposed to properly clean your teeth with brackets, wires, and rubber bands in place. Here are a few brushing tips to keep in mind:

  • Thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water to loosen any food debris.
  • Rinse your toothbrush using hot water.
  • At a 45-degree angle, place your toothbrush to the gums.
  • Using your toothbrush, move back and forth using short strokes, making sure to brush between wires and teeth along with the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of teeth.
  • Thoroughly brush all of your teeth for at least two minutes.
  • Be sure also to brush your tongue to remove any bacteria!

If for any reason you cannot brush your teeth after a meal, be sure to wash it down with lots of water. You can even swish the water in your mouth to loosen any particles of food. This can help prevent bacteria from feeding on the food debris and sugars which can lead to decay.

Braces Tip #1: Brush Every Day

Maintaining routine at home dental care each day is essential for everyone, especially those with braces. Food debris and plaque can stick to not only teeth but also braces. Did you know gingivitis can begin forming in 48 hours? By making sure you brush routinely, you can help avoid decay, discoloration and even gingivitis. We recommend brushing after each meal (including snacks) and of course, before going to bed.

Braces Tip #2: Floss Daily

Flossing is another step that can help ensure optimal oral health when you have braces. It can help remove any additional debris and plaque that may have formed on your teeth/braces. When flossing with braces, you must be sure to floss under the archwire and between each tooth. Floss picks, or a floss threader, can make this an easier process. Be sure to be gentle as not to damage your orthodontic appliance.

Braces Tip #3: Avoid Teeth Whitening Products

It may seem like keeping up with your teeth whitening maintenance while correcting your smile is a good idea. However, most teeth whitening products (even toothpaste and mouthwash) only bleach the areas it touches. When your braces are removed, you will have uneven coloration and obvious staining. We recommend waiting until your orthodontic treatment is complete so that you can get professional teeth whitening treatments completed on your brand new, aligned smile.