Brushing and Flossing

When you have braces, it's very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, interproximal brush("Christmas Tree" shaped brush for under the archwire and between teeth), Waterpik® dental irrigator, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.

Brushing with Braces

Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. As an alternative, you can use a Sonicare® powered toothbrush to increase your brushing effectiveness. Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth near the gumline using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle facing toward the gum line. Then brush with the bristles facing "straight- in" to lightly brush "sideways" along the archwire and on the gums. Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Made sure the handle of the brush faces out of your mouth so that you use the end of the brush to brush the inside surface of each of the six front teeth, tipping the handle away from the teeth so that the brush also touches the gum surface. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.

brushing with braces

Flossing with Braces

Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which will also help keep your treatment time on track. To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire. Wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of taught floss between them. Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back and forth motion. Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. The floss should wrap the tooth surface with both ends facing forward to "shoe shine" the front tooth and then both ends facing backwards to "shoe shine" the back tooth  of each contact area. Repeat this process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth. If you find that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, ask us about a water flosser! The Waterpik® dental irrigator can be used along each gumline, along each archwire, and then from the biting surface facing toward the contact area of each two teeth to act as floss.  It can also be used to irrigate above palatal expansion appliances.

flossing with braces