Brushing and Flossing


When you have braces, it’s very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance. 

Brushing with Braces

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. 

Flossing 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! 

Maintaining proper oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment is essential to ensure the success of your braces and to keep your teeth and gums healthy. In addition to the brushing and flossing techniques mentioned earlier, there are several other considerations to keep in mind for optimal oral care while you have braces.

Dietary Considerations: In addition to your brushing and flossing routine, it’s important to be mindful of your diet. Avoid hard, sticky, and sugary foods that can damage your braces or get stuck in them. These include items like popcorn, hard candies, and chewing gum. Opt for softer, braces-friendly foods like yogurt, pasta, and cooked vegetables to minimize the risk of bracket damage.

Regular Dental Check-ups: Regular dental check-ups are crucial during your orthodontic treatment. We recommend visiting your dentist for routine cleanings and check-ups every six months or as advised. These visits will help ensure that your teeth and gums remain in good health throughout your orthodontic journey.

Mouthwash and Antiseptic Rinse: Using an antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash can further enhance your oral hygiene routine. Swishing with a mouthwash can help reach areas that brushing and flossing may miss, reducing the risk of cavities and gum issues. Be sure to choose a mouthwash recommended by your orthodontist to ensure it’s safe for your braces.

Orthodontic Wax: Sometimes, braces wires or brackets may cause irritation or sores inside your mouth. In such cases, orthodontic wax can be your best friend. Apply a small amount of wax to the irritating area to create a smooth surface and prevent further discomfort.

Maintaining Elastic Bands: If your orthodontist has prescribed elastic bands as part of your treatment, be diligent in wearing them as instructed. These bands play a vital role in aligning your bite correctly. Failure to wear them as recommended can prolong your treatment time.

Orthodontic Adjustments: Regular appointments with your orthodontist are essential to track your progress and make necessary adjustments to your braces. These adjustments ensure that your teeth are moving as planned and that your treatment stays on track.

Protective Mouthguard: If you participate in sports or activities where there’s a risk of impact to your mouth, it’s wise to wear a mouthguard. Your orthodontist can provide you with a custom-fitted mouthguard designed to protect your braces and teeth from injury.

Maintaining Positive Habits: Orthodontic treatment can be a lengthy process, so it’s important to remain patient and committed to your oral care routine. Remember that the end result – a beautifully aligned smile – will be well worth the effort.

In conclusion, taking care of your teeth and braces requires consistent effort and diligence. Proper brushing and flossing techniques, combined with the right dental products, a braces-friendly diet, and regular dental check-ups, will help you achieve the best results from your orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your oral care during braces, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to support you on your journey to a healthier, straighter smile.

Learn more about Brushing and Flossing from the Canada Dental Association.