Brushing and Flossing

Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

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 treatment.  Clean teeth and healthy gums not only ensure the best smile possible but also allow the teeth to move quicker with less discomfort.  We recommend that our patients invest in a Waterpik® Water Flosser to aid in cleaning around orthodontic appliances.  It is also advisable to use a flouride mouth rinse during orthodontic treatment to help protect your teeth.  If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, or mouthrinse, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliances.

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 powered toothbrush to increase 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. 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.

brushing with braces

8 Simple Steps for Using a Water Flosser

  1. Fill the reservoir with lukewarm water and place it on the base, pressing down firmly to ensure full seating.
  2. Select the tip and press firmly into the handle.
  3. If this is the first use, set the pressure control dial to high. Point the tip into the sink and turn on until water flows. Turn unit off.
  4. Adjust the pressure control (start at low pressure).
  5. Lean over the sink and place tip in mouth.
  6. Turn unit on. Close lips to prevent splashing, while allowing water to flow from mouth into sink.
  7. Start with the back teeth and pause briefly between teeth, aiming the tip just above the gumline at a 90 degree angle.
  8. When finished, turn unit off and use the tip eject button to remove the tip.

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. 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!

flossing with braces