Brushing and Flossing with Braces

Brushing and flossing can be a little more complicated with dental braces, but it’s never been more important! Any type of dental appliance just provides more places for plaque and bacteria to hide in, so it’s imperative that you’re cleaning your teeth even more often and thoroughly than ever.

Brushing Your Braces

You should already be using a soft bristled toothbrush, and fluoride toothpaste. This will stay the same. Make sure you’re brushing with moderate pressure, and place the toothbrush at an angle so that when you’re brushing, you’ll feel the bristles under your gum line. Use small circular motions while brushing at this angle.

Completely clean each surface of each tooth in your mouth, including the areas above, below, behind, and between each bracket. The surface of every tooth should be scrubbed with 5-10 circular strokes of your toothbrush. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth! All in all, this process should take 2-3 minutes. Keep in mind that brushing your hardware will wear out your toothbrush faster than usual. Be sure to replace it whenever the bristles begin to fray.

When wearing braces, you should be brushing at least four times per day:

  • After breakfast
  • After lunch (or once you get home from school or work)
  • After dinner
  • Before you go to bed

Flossing Your Braces

Just as with brushing, flossing your teeth becomes even more important when you have dental braces or any other kind of dental appliance. There are two methods you can use to more easily floss with braces on: by using Superfloss or a floss threader.

Flossing With Superfloss

A piece of Superfloss has three parts, consisting of a straight, stiff end, a soft and spongy middle section, and normal floss on the other end.

The way to use Superfloss is twofold. First, you’ll pass the stiff, straight end of the floss under the archwire of your braces, between two teeth. Second, you’ll slip the regular floss end carefully between the two teeth and pass up and down in a C-shape against each tooth. Repeat these steps for every tooth in your mouth.

Flossing With A Floss Threader

You’ll be provided with a floss threader when you get your braces, but they’re also available for purchase wherever you can buy floss.

This small contraption is easy to use. Use a piece of dental floss about 12 inches long. Use the floss threader to get a 10-12-inch piece of floss under the archwire and then slide the floss up and down along the tooth surface. But you’ll need to be careful not to pull with too hard on your archwire.

No matter how you choose to do it, you should floss at least once a day. In combination with your braces, consistent brushing and flossing will result in a beautiful smile!

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Colorado Springs, CO 80920

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