Oral Hygiene

How should I brush my teeth with braces?

  1. Swishing water around your mouth before brushing can loosen food particles and other debris.
  2. Take out any elastics, bands, or removable orthodontic pieces and set them aside.
  3. Start with the outside of the teeth, with the brush flat against the surface. Use circular, vibrating motions.
  4. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush along the gums, taking care to get in between the brackets and wires.

Can I still floss with braces?

Flossing is just as important for those with braces as it is for those without them. Floss daily. Start by pulling floss through the threader and then through each tooth.

Should I use mouthwash with braces?

After brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water or an antiseptic dental rinse. An antiseptic rinse can help minor gum inflammations and irritations from orthodontic appliances and cleanse canker sores and other minor wounds. It can also remove debris or irritants from the mouth, speeding up your body's natural healing process.

How can I ensure I am cleaning my teeth properly with braces?

While brushing, flossing with a threader, and an antiseptic dental rinse are a great first line of defense in protecting your teeth during Orthodontic treatments, an interdental toothbrush (proxabrush) can help more effectively because it is smaller and easier to get in between the teeth, gums, and hardware. Use this device slowly and carefully to clean under orthodontic wires and around braces, taking care not to damage your braces.

What can I eat with braces?

During your first week in braces, stick to a soft food diet until any discomfort subsides. Afterward, you can eat almost anything while wearing braces, with a few exceptions.

You should avoid hard foods like ice and pizza crust and sticky foods such as caramels and chewing gum since they can damage wires and brackets. Also, minimize sugary foods like ice cream and cookies, and reduce sugary drinks like soda or milk to once a day.

Should I use an electric or manual toothbrush with braces?

Either option can effectively clean your teeth, although many people prefer to use an electric or interdental toothbrush because the vibration can help remove plaque more effectively.

Will I need special tools or devices to clean my teeth while wearing braces?

Although you will be flossing and brushing just like everyone else, some additional tools will make your oral hygiene with braces easier, such as:
  • Floss threaders to easily pull the floss through teeth, brackets, and wires
  • Water flossers provide a simple and effective way to clean between the teeth
  • Interdental brushes can effectively remove food particles in and around brackets

How often should I clean my teeth when wearing braces?

We recommend cleaning your teeth after every meal and snack to avoid food becoming stuck and plaque buildup.

Will wearing braces give me bad breath?

Much like people without dental appliances, most patients avoid having bad breath by engaging in good oral hygiene and cleaning braces thoroughly.