Brushing and flossing with braces looks complicated. On your very first day with braces, you
might wonder, i s it even possible to floss in between all those wires and brackets?
Take it from an orthodontist – – it might require a bit more time and effort to keep your teeth clean while wearing braces, but brushing and flossing while undergoing orthodontic treatment is entirely possible.
When you take the time and effort to effectively brush and floss while you’re wearing braces, the end result will be worthwhile. Once your braces come off, your perfectly straight, bright, and sparkling teeth will make you proud to show off your smile.
Brushing and Flossing
For obvious reasons, food particles can easily get trapped around your brackets and wires and in between your teeth when you’re wearing braces. This is precisely why you must take extra effort to clean all surfaces of your teeth, all around your brackets and wires, and in between each tooth.
- If any piece or part of your braces or orthodontic appliance is removable (such as rubber bands), take them out before brushing
- To prevent damage to your brackets and wires, use a soft-bristle toothbrush
- Don’t be too forceful while brushing – using a slow circular motion will allow your brush to effectively clean around your brackets
- Use different angles with your toothbrush while brushing to maneuver the bristles behind the wire
- Use the correct type of fluoride toothpaste – whitening paste is not recommended
- If you have any questions or concerns, ask us for complete tooth brushing instructions
- Don’t avoid flossing just because it requires extra effort
- Use a dental floss threader to make flossing easier and more efficient
- Floss every tooth – even the teeth in the back of your mouth
- Use dental floss at least once a day – and more if you have food stuck in between your teeth
- Stick with waxed floss which is less likely to get snagged or caught on wires or brackets
Remember, keeping your teeth clean is essential for maintaining your oral health while you’re in braces.
See Your Regular Dentist
One of the most common questions we get from our patients and their parents pertains to regular dental cleanings and exams during orthodontic treatment. In almost every instance, we recommend that you see your regular dentist for a professional cleaning at least twice a year.
A bi-annual visit to your regular dentist will help keep your teeth and gums healthy, and your dentist will be able to monitor any oral health issues not related to your orthodontic treatment. For example, during your regular appointment, your dentist will check for signs of decay. If you have a cavity, braces will not prevent your dentist from treating it.
If your dentist has any questions or concerns about your teeth or your orthodontic treatment, he or she is welcome to contact our office and we will work collaboratively to help solve any current or potential oral health problems. Your regular dentist is no different from your orthodontist in wanting you to enjoy a lifetime of optimal oral health.
If You Need Help… Ask for It
Learning to live with braces requires a little bit of time. Getting used to a new way of brushing and flossing your teeth while navigating through brackets and wires may take a few days or weeks. Please make sure to call our office if you are experiencing any difficulty or if you have any questions or concerns. We are always happy to help.