Brushing With Braces

  • You will notice that it is much harder to keep your teeth clean with braces. Food catches in the brackets and between your teeth, and plaque builds up, especially at the gum line areas. If plaque remains on the teeth for any length of time, it may leave a permanent white scar on the surface.
  • Brushing after meals should become part of your daily schedule. Try to brush at least four times a day. Brush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth; brush in small circles above and below the brackets. Concentrate on the gumline areas.
  • Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your appliances, so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray. A waterpik can be a useful tool for dislodging food particles and for massaging gums but it cannot remove the sticky plaque that adheres to the teeth. An electric toothbrush may also be recommended depending on the individual’s oral health. A proxybrush is very useful for cleaning around brackets and in spaces between teeth. Flossing is more important than ever and should be done daily.
  • Floss threaders are needed unless you decide to try superfloss. It has a threader end, a thicker section for extra cleaning, and floss at the other end. It should be very effective. In addition, rinsing with a Listerine product at least once a day can help reduce plaque bacteria.