It's more important than ever to brush and floss regularly and thoroughly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment.
Braces, wires, springs, rubber bands, and other orthodontic appliances can attract food and plaque, which can stain or damage teeth if not brushed away.
Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.
We recommend brushing after every meal or snack with a fluoride toothpaste to carefully remove any food that may have gotten stuck in your braces.
In some cases, we will also prescribe or recommend a fluoride mouthwash, which can help clean places in your mouth that your toothbrush can't reach. A waterpik or airflosser can also be helpful in flushing out stuck food particles.
Using a regular, soft toothbrush, brush down from the top and then up from the bottom on each tooth with braces. Next, brush your teeth with a proxabrush or "Christmas tree" brush. This type of brush is specially designed for cleaning out the spaces between braces.
Insert the brush downwards from the top and then upwards from the bottom between two braces. Make several strokes in each direction before moving to the next space. Repeat this procedure until all teeth have been cleaned.
To floss teeth if you have braces, feed the the floss through the space between the main arch wire and the portion of the tooth closest to the gum.
Using a gentle sawing motion, move the floss up and down each side of the two teeth the floss is between.
Be careful not to pull with too much force around the arch wire.