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Living with braces

Brushing and flossing

Maintaining Good Dental Hygiene

Braces are great at setting your smile straight. But they’re also good at trapping food after you eat, so it’s more important than ever to brush and floss correctly. See below for an easy step-by-step guide to effective brushing & flossing.

Step 1:

Use a soft toothbrush, and just put a dab of toothpaste on it. (About the size of a pea.) First brush softly in and around the braces, using small circular motions and the brush pointing directly at the braces. Also brush the biting surfaces of the back teeth.

Step 2:

Angle the brush down and brush along the tops of the braces of both the upper and lower teeth. Repeat the process by angling the brush up and brushing underneath your braces on both your upper and lower teeth.

Step 3:

Don’t forget to brush near the gumline - this is where food gets trapped. Angle the brush upward, and brush downward around every tooth. Repeat for your bottom gums: angle the brush downward and brush up around every tooth. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Flossing is important for the health of teeth and gums and you should be more diligent about flossing with braces, since more food is likely to be trapped in between all your orthodontic equipment.

The key to flossing with braces is to get the floss BETWEEN the archwire and the teeth first, then begin flossing. You can do this by threading floss in between each tooth, or by using a handled flossing device.

Also, try using interdental brushes. These are soft brushes that are designed to get in between teeth and clear out food particles that lead to plaque buildup.