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Brushing and Flossing

Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

When you have braces, it's very important to brush for two minutes two to three times per day. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy means a healthy, beautiful smile at the end of treatment.

Did you know that consistently average to poor oral hygiene can actually slow down tooth movement? We all know that plaque leads to tartar and cavities but it also makes your gums red and swollen. When this happens, your teeth have more tissue to move through which will take longer. Healthy teeth and gums will make your adjustments more comfortable and efficient.

Brushing with Braces

Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. As an alternative, you can use a powered toothbrush to increase your brushing effectiveness. Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.

brushing with braces

Flossing with Braces

Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which will also help keep your treatment time on track. To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire. Wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of taught floss between them. Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back and forth motion. Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth. If you find that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, ask us about a water flosser!

flossing with braces

American Dental Association American Association of Orthodontists Texas Association of Orthodontists Southwestern Society of Orthodontists