How Do I Brush and Floss with Braces?

So, you’ve got braces now (or you’re about to get braces), and you’re wondering how this new addition will change your daily oral hygiene routine. Fixed braces, like our metal and LightForce clear braces, are fantastic tools that help straighten your teeth and give you that dream smile. But they come with a little challenge—keeping your teeth sparkling clean becomes trickier. But Morgan Orthodontics is here to rescue you from the Sea of Uncertainty and deliver you safely to Proper Braces Care Land by answering the important question, “How do I brush and floss with braces?”

Understanding Braces and Oral Health

Braces have all these tiny nooks and crannies that can be cozy hideouts for food particles and plaque. And if these unwanted guests stick around too long, they can lead to cavities and gum problems. Yikes! But don’t worry, with the right know-how and tools, you can keep your teeth healthy and braces clean. 

What You’ll Need

When you’ve got clear or metal braces, you’ll need more than just a toothbrush and thread floss to keep your mouth squeaky clean.  Here are some essential items you should have in your braces care kit:

  • Water Flossers: Remember those tiny nooks and crannies? Your toothbrush can’t reach all those places! A water flosser will be your best friend to combat bad breath and remove debris from all the hard-to-reach areas. These devices use streams of water to dislodge food, plaque, and bacteria from along the gum line, between the teeth, or in the brackets. They are crucial for oral hygiene with braces, so it’s a good thing they can be stationary or portable for on-the-go cleaning! 
  • A Good Toothbrush: We strongly recommend a soft-bristled electric toothbrush. The vibrating bristles of electric toothbrushes provide a deeper clean than manual toothbrushes while requiring less effort on your part. Our team prefers rechargeable brushes with replaceable heads for convenience. Your electric toothbrush doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, though some more costly ones have cool features that can help you level up your routine.
  • Floss Threaders: When brackets and wires are in the way, getting waxed floss between your teeth might be challenging. If you’re having difficulty, get some floss threaders. These tools make it significantly easier to slip the thread between your teeth.
  • Interdental Brushes: These tools are also known as interproximal brushes, and they’re a braces patient’s best friend. Interdental brushes are round brushes small enough to slide underneath the wire between the brackets for a thorough cleaning. They can also get between the teeth! They’re great for dislodging food or brushing hard-to-reach spots at home or on the go.
  • Mouthwash: A swish of mouthwash gives your teeth an added layer of protection. The best mouthwash for you depends on your specific needs, so ask Dr. Morgan, Dr. Coffelt, or your trusted dentist for recommendations.
  • Toothpaste: Choosing the right toothpaste to brush your teeth can be the difference between having an effective, beneficial routine and “going through the motions.” Consult your dentist or our orthodontic team for advice on which toothpaste is right for you.

Now that you know what you need to have healthy teeth and gums and sparkling braces while in treatment, let’s go over what your routine should look like!

How Do I Brush and Floss with Braces?

Brushing And Flossing With Braces: Twice-Daily Instructions

The way and order in which you use these tools in your routine is crucial to your orthodontic success and oral health. First, you need to floss

  1. How To Floss With Braces: The opening act of your routine should be to floss using waxed thread floss. Using floss threaders, slide the floss under the wire between the teeth. (You may also use the interproximal brushes or orthodontic floss.) Gently move the floss up and down against each tooth and around the gum line. Repeat until you complete the whole mouth! 
  2. How To Use A Water Flosser: After traditional flossing, you should go in with your water flosser. Fill the container with room temperature water, pick an attachment (if necessary) and water pressure setting, and aim the tool at the gumline. Clean along the contours of your gums, letting the excess water and debris flow into the sink. It’s like giving your teeth and braces a mini shower! (Bonus Tip: Having difficulty getting your child to use a water flosser? Tell them they’re like a water bender, using water to eliminate their opponents—bacteria and plaque.)
  3. How To Brush: It’s time for the headliner—brushing! Apply a pea-sized amount of your chosen toothpaste to your soft-bristled electric toothbrush. At a 45-degree angle, brush the top, front, and bottom of all the brackets. Then, gently brush all surfaces of your teeth before moving on to the gumline. You want to be thorough to ensure you’re sweeping away all that plaque and food debris, but you don’t want to use so much force that you’re damaging your enamel or gums. Spend about 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth so every tooth gets some spotlight. Before moving to the next step, brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper to make sure no bacteria gets left behind.
  4. Lastly, Rinse With Mouthwash: For the grand finale, rinse with mouthwash. Swish a mouthwash around your mouth for about 30 seconds, then spit it out. This helps to remove any remaining particles, fights off plaque, and prevents pesky white spots on teeth. Think of it as the encore to your oral hygiene routine, leaving your mouth feeling clean, fresh, and ready to face the day (or night)! Note: There is some debate about using mouthwash at the beginning or end of your oral hygiene routine. When asking about which mouthwash is best for you, also ask when you should use it in your regime for maximum benefits.

It’s that easy to care for your teeth and gums while receiving orthodontic treatment. It might take some practice to nail down the “how,” but it’ll be second nature once you do. 

How Do I Brush and Floss with Braces?

For More Brushing And Flossing With Braces Tips, Visit Morgan Orthodontics!

Keeping your smile bright and healthy while wearing braces is a breeze with the right routine, tools, and education. At Morgan Orthodontics, serving both Leesburg and Winchester, we’re committed to guiding you through your orthodontic journey with ease and confidence. A little effort goes a long way in ensuring your smile shines brighter than ever. If you have any questions, need personalized advice, or want to start your orthodontic treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to us or schedule a free consultation. Together, we can make your orthodontic experience a success. Visit us today!