BracesOrthodontics |3 min read

How to Brush and Floss with Braces

Brushing teeth with braces

You know how important it is to brush and floss properly when wearing braces — but what’s the best way to do that?

Don’t worry. We’ll explain everything, and you’ll be flashing a confident smile before you know it.

All you need to do is keep a few things in mind, so let’s start with the basics.

Brushing Tools to Use

A soft-bristled brush or a bi-level brush (one with shorter bristles in the middle and longer bristles at the edges) can be effective.

When used carefully, an electric toothbrush can work just as well. But be sure to set the electric brush to a moderate power level, and don’t let its vibrations cause the back of the brush to hit the braces!

Brushing with Braces

You should brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily (preferably after meals) for at least two minutes each time.

Remember to brush all tooth surfaces: the front, the back, and the chewing surfaces as well.

Be especially thorough when cleaning the areas between wires and teeth and between brackets and gums — that’s where food particles can easily become trapped.

  1. Get started
    Detach any removable parts of your orthodontic appliance (your dentist will let you know if this is a factor).
  2. Clean your braces
    Carefully clean around wires and pins.
  3. Brush each wire
    Brush top to bottom and around the upper and lower teeth.
  4. Brush your teeth
    Webster Orthodontics recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice daily, which means each quadrant of your mouth gets 30 seconds. As you brush, clean all areas of the tooth. Some people find they get the best clean going tooth by tooth.
  5. Rinse, and then check your teeth
    Rinse thoroughly. Examine teeth and braces in the mirror, and remember to look for any remaining food particles.

Flossing with Braces

Although flossing with braces is tricky, you will soon get the hang of it with practice.

  • Floss once a day
    Use waxed floss and thread it carefully under the main wire before passing between two teeth. Move up and down gently, remove it carefully, and move on to the next pair of teeth.
  • Use enough floss
    About 18 inches of floss should be enough.
  • Thread it carefully
    Take the floss and carefully thread it under the main wire of the braces before passing it between two teeth. Repeat this for each pair of teeth.

Keeping your teeth clean by avoiding certain foods can help to reduce the amount of food particulate you’ll need to clean.

Foods to Avoid

If a food fits into one of these categories, then it’s best to skip it:

  • Hard
  • Crunchy
  • Chewy
  • Sticky
  • Sugary
  • Acidic

Examples of foods to avoid with braces include:

  • Taffy
  • Caramels
  • Starbursts & all fruit-flavored candy (too sticky)
  • Gum (any kind)
  • Hard candy
  • Ice
  • Bagels, granola bars, pizza crust, thick pretzels, hard nuts
  • Soda of all varieties (regular, diet, etc.)

These are basic but crucial tips for brushing and flossing your teeth with braces.

The tips mentioned above will help you come out of your braces treatment with healthy teeth and gums.

If you want to know more about braces for kids or braces for adults, look through our service pages, or contact us for a consultation.

Webster Orthodontics proudly offers professional dentistry to communities in Las Vegas Summerlin, Henderson, Mountain’s Edge, Centennial Hills, North Las Vegas, and NW Las Vegas.

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