Braces are one of the most effective ways to transform your natural smile into your dream
smile. Although braces are beneficial, they can making brushing and flossing a little more
challenging while receiving treatment.
Cleaning your teeth well when you have braces will take more time, but will also be more
important. Your wires and brackets create extra areas for plaque and food particles to hide,
increasing your risk of gum disease while you’re getting your smile straightened.
How can you brush your teeth when you have braces? The following steps will lead you to a
squeaky clean smile!
First: Choose the Right Tools
Choosing the right tools to be your partners during orthodontic treatment is essential. You’ll
need the following items for a proper cleaning:
A soft-bristled toothbrush. This helps you brush more gently and prevent enamel
An interdental cleaner. These cleaners are a second toothbrush of sorts; they’ll help
you brush more efficiently underneath the wires and around the brackets of your
Waxed floss. A waxed floss will make it easier to floss your teeth and allow the floss to
glide in and out.
A floss threader. These little threaders are going to make flossing with bracesmuch
Now that you have your tools, let’s get cleaning!
Next: Rinse Your Mouth
Before you decide whether to brush or floss first (experts say it doesn’t matter which happens
first as long as you do them both), go ahead and rinse your mouth with water.
Why this step? As we discussed, braces provide lots of extra places for food particles to hide. In
order to make your job of cleaning your teeth and braces easier, it can help to loosen or
remove any food particles by vigorously swishing water around in your mouth.
Now, decide whether you want to brush or floss!
Then: Floss In-between Teeth
Flossing is going to be one of the most challenging parts of having braces, but it’s essential for
removing plaque from those hard-to-reach areas in-between your teeth.
A floss threader can make life with braces much easier. These threaders help the floss go
underneath your wire, allowing you to effectively reach the space between each of your teeth.
Once the threader is underneath the wire, you can remove it and then proceed to floss the
tooth. Pull the floss out when done, and use a clean section for each set of teeth you clean
Although it doesn’t matter whether you floss before or after brushing, experts do recommend
saving flossing for the end of the day to ensure you remove all food particles before sleeping.
Last: Brushing Your Teeth
Finally, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle down towards the gums. Gently brush your
teeth, your brackets, and your wires to remove plaque. Brush everything that you can reach
with your toothbrush.
For the places your toothbrush doesn’t quite seem to reach, grab your interdental cleaner and
gently brush around the brackets. A quick rinse of the mouth again and you’re done!
Cleaning your teeth with braces might feel like a chore at first, but you’ll get used to this
important practice. All your hard work with be worth it when the braces come off and you have
a smile that’s not only straight, but healthy too!