Brushing and flossing with braces

Keeping your teeth and braces clean is extremely important. Brushing and flossing will work a little differently now that you’re wearing brackets and wires, but with a little practice, you’ll master the process in no time.

Tips for brushing

Of course, it’s important to brush with braces, but what’s the best way to do it? First, let’s talk about the right tools to use.

  • Choose either a soft-bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush. If you opt for electric, use a low-to-medium setting, and be careful not to hit the back of the brush to your brackets.
  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste. Your dentist can give you samples or make brand recommendations.
  • Invest in an interdental toothbrush. This can help you to clean the areas between brackets more effectively.

Now let’s talk about technique. Brushing around braces can feel a little odd at first, and it takes more effort to get to all the areas of the teeth.

  • Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle. Use circular motions above each bracket and then again beneath each bracket. Be especially conscious of the area between each tooth. This is a prime spot for food particles to get stuck.
  • Remember to brush thoroughly behind each tooth. Aim the brush upwards towards the gums and brush in circular motions.
  • Using a firm back and forth motion, clean the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • Use an interdental toothbrush/pick to gently clean the areas around each bracket under the wire.

The first few times you brush it might seem to take longer than usual. The more you do it, the faster you’ll get. Soon your routine should be almost as quick as before you had braces.

Brushing and flossing

How to floss with braces

Flossing with braces is similar to flossing without braces. The only difference is you will need a “floss threader” to get the floss under the archwire. To use a floss threader, thread the floss through the end (like threading a needle). Then, push the threader under the archwire. You can now floss in between your teeth as usual. You will need to thread under the archwire again for each space between teeth.

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Brushing and flossing