So you’re on your way to a straighter smile with braces — congrats! We bet you’re excited for the day you finally get them removed, but don’t forget to take great care of your teeth all throughout the treatment. Brushing and flossing can take a little bit of extra effort when you have orthodontics, but it’s necessary to make sure your teeth aren’t just straight, but healthy too.
We’ve put together some basic guidelines for cleaning your teeth with braces. We know you can do it, and your smile will thank you for it!
How to Brush with Braces
In an ideal world, you should brush your teeth after every time you eat. That being said, we know that can seem like a hassle sometimes. If you don’t have a toothbrush handy, rinsing your mouth with water will help. You can also rinse your mouth before brushing to loosen any food particles that might be stuck in your braces.
We recommend using a soft bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When brushing, keep your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and move the toothbrush in short strokes. You can also pick up an interdental toothbrush, which looks like a mini pipe cleaner and can get in that triangular gap between your teeth and gums.
How to Floss with Braces
It’s a little tricky trying to floss around braces, but there are lots of great products out there to make it easier. Floss threaders are one such convenient item! They are a small, inexpensive plastic tool to help you get behind the orthodontic wires in order to floss your teeth. You can find them at almost every pharmacy or grocery store, or you can pick up a floss threader online.
To use a floss threader:
- Take about 12 to 18 inches of floss and insert it into the loop of the threader — just so around 5 inches of it is through. Think of it like putting some thread in the eye of a needle!
- Take the stiff end of the threader and go under the wire of your braces.
- Pull it all the way through and remove the threader. The floss should be underneath the wire.
- Guide it back and forth and up and down to clean around your teeth.
- Repeat with your other teeth!
Another option is to use a Waterpik® to get into those hard-to-reach areas. A Waterpik is basically a water flosser, and you can get a tapered orthodontic tip meant to remove plaque, bacteria, and food debris from around braces.
We also recommend using waxed floss so that it can glide around your teeth more smoothly!
Need More Help?
If you need more help figuring out the best way to brush and floss around braces, contact our dental office. The team at Stroope Orthodontics would be happy to share more tips and give you demonstrations!
Thinking about getting braces? Don’t wait to get the smile you’ve always wanted! Schedule an orthodontic consultation with us today.