Brushing and Flossing

Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

Practicing excellent oral hygiene is an essential part of achieving the best results during orthodontic treatment. A very important part of the getting braces on appointment is learning how to care for your appliances during treatment. For all of our children and teenagers with braces, Dr. Henry requires parental/guardian involvement in the oral hygiene aspect of treatment. We give all of our younger patients an oral hygiene grade at every appointment and work with each of them to motivate and instruct them to do their best, but parental/guardian follow-up at home is an absolute must!

When you have braces, it's very important to brush after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. This means keeping a toothbrush with you at school/work and finding the time to brush after lunch every day! We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush. An electric toothbrush (such as Sonicare) or a Waterpik is highly recommended in order to help maintain excellent oral hygiene. We recommend flossing once a day no matter what type of orthodontic appliance you have. 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

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

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