How to Brush and Floss with Braces

Maintaining proper dental hygiene is very important, and the addition of braces can make this process challenging. Taking care of your teeth and braces not only prevents common dental problems, but it can also minimize your treatment time.

It can be difficult to maneuver your toothbrush and dental floss around your braces and properly clean your teeth. Here are a few tips and tricks to assist you in your new brushing routine with braces.

How Often Should You Brush?

It is recommended that you brush your teeth 2-3 times a day and floss at least once. This is especially important after eating, as food particles can get stuck between your teeth in hard-to-reach places.

In most cases, you should brush in the morning and before bed. Brushing at least once between meals helps eliminate food hidden between the nooks and crannies of your braces and removes plaque. This ultimately keeps your teeth healthier and on track for a beautiful smile.

What Is the Proper Way to Brush?

Braces can be fragile, and hard, saw-like motions can cause damage not only to your braces but also to your teeth and gums. Here are a few ways to properly care for your braces:

  • Clean between your brackets with a proxy brush. You can get one from your orthodontist or local drug store. It is inserted under the archwire and between your brackets and bands. This helps target those hard-to-reach places that a traditional toothbrush can’t get to.
  • Clean your teeth with your toothbrush. Place your toothbrush above your brackets facing downward, and then move the toothbrush left to right. Then, move it to the bottom of your brackets facing upward and again move it back and forth. Do this motion until you reach all of your teeth.

Watch our video on brushing with braces to see what we mean.

What Type of Toothbrush Can You Use?

A soft-bristled toothbrush is easier on your gums and is gentler on your archwires. Although brushing is important, be sure not to overbrush, as this can sometimes lead to sensitive teeth and receding gums.

Using a medium- or hard-bristled toothbrush is more damaging when you have braces. A proper technique used when brushing can lead to a thorough cleaning, especially when you have a softer brush.

Taking care of your teeth isn’t an easy task, especially when you have braces. If you notice any issues or problems while cleaning your teeth, be sure to notify your orthodontist.

How Do You Floss with Braces?

Flossing with braces is much different than flossing the traditional way. The archwires surrounding your teeth prevent you from pushing the floss between each tooth, which makes flossing more difficult.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Take the dental floss and put it between the archwire and your tooth.
  2. Pull the floss downwards about halfway.
  3. Once the floss is behind your archwire, you will be able to reach your teeth and floss as usual on each side of each tooth.
  4. Repeat this until you’re able to floss between all of your teeth.

Here’s a video on flossing with braces to help you.

Schedule a Consultation

If you would like to work with orthodontists with a passion for transforming smiles, Moles & Ferri Orthodontic Specialists can help. We offer a full spectrum of orthodontic services and treatment options designed to use the latest technology. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at any one of our offices located in Milwaukee, Brookfield, and Racine.