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

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 taut 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

Brushing with Invisalign

With Invisalign, it is important to brush after every meal so that food and plaque do not get trapped in the aligners. This will help prevent tooth decay and and gum disease.  You can brush like normal with your attachments, just make sure to brush in circular motions, get every surface of your tooth, and brush for at least 2 minutes! Do not forget to clean your aligners regularly with an extra brush, handsoap or dishsoap (no toothpaste or mouthwash), and rinse them well with lukewarm water. 

Using a Waterpik (Water Flosser)

Using a Waterpik is an alternative way to floss everyday. It shoots out a stream of water pressure that helps clean away any food debris or harmful plaque. While using your Waterpik, you want to make sure you are outlining your gum line around each tooth, while pausing for a couple seconds between each tooth. You want to make sure you have your head down over the sink, looking at the drain, with your mouth open slightly to let all the water and food debris out. Repeat the same process for the upper and lower teeth. A Waterpik can be used with braces and Invisalign!