Brushing and flossing with braces
Keeping your teeth and braces clean is extremely important. It keeps your teeth and your appliance in top condition, keeping you on track with treatment.
Brushing and flossing will work a little differently now that you’re wearing braces, but with a little practice, you’ll master the process in no time.
Tips for brushing
It is as important as ever to brush and floss properly when you have braces. Here we share our specialist's top tips and advice to keep your teeth and brace clean.
First up, let's talk about what equipment is best:
- Choose either a soft-bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush. If you opt for electric, we suggest you use a low-to-medium setting and be careful not to hit the back of the brush on your brackets.
- Brush with 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 thoroughly.
Now let’s talk about technique. Brushing around braces can feel a little odd at first, and it takes more effort and a lot of practice to get to all the areas of the teeth.
More tips for brushing
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Use small, circular motions above and then below each bracket. Be especially conscious of the area between each tooth as this is a prime spot for food to get stuck and for plaque to build up.
- Remember to brush thoroughly behind each tooth. Aim the brush upwards towards the gums and brush in small, circular motions.
- Using a firm back-and-forth motion, clean the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- Use an interdental toothbrush or toothpick to gently clean the areas around each bracket and under the wire.
The first few times you brush after being fitted with braces, it might seem to take longer than usual. The more you practice, the faster you’ll get. Soon your routine should be almost as quick as before you had braces.
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) and 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.
We are always on hand to help you with anything so if you need additional support or advice on cleaning practices, give the team a call at 415-453-7880.