Brushing and Flossing

Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

When you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, it's very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your care. Research has shown that it doesn't matter so much which toothbrush or floss you use as much as it does how you use them.    

Brushing with Braces

Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. If you choose to use an electric toothbrush, this often increases your brushing effectiveness. Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Make sure to brush between the braces and the gums as this is where most food and plaque accumulates.  Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.

Flossing with Braces

Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which means less puffy gums and better smelling breath.  To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire. Then, 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 an up and down motion. Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this process  by removing the floss and threading it through the next tooth 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-Pik.  While nothing replaces flossing as the best method, a Water-Pik certainly can help. 

Here is a video to show what happens if you don't brush and floss enough.  Don't let this be you!

Lastly, here is a video that shows how braces are put on and reviews some key techniques to keep your teeth healthy once they are in place.