Brushing & Flossing

One of the best ways to prolong your oral health with braces is regular brushing and flossing. Proper toothbrushing cleans plaque and food from your teeth. Correct flossing techniques can disengage food items in between your teeth that a toothbrush cannot access. Prevent bad breath, cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease by practicing a healthy oral care routine.

Brushing with Braces

Did you know that it is better to wait a while after you eat before you brush your teeth? Many think that brushing right after eating is best; however, your teeth are exposed to acids that can soften your hard enamel. Enamel erosion may be increased by immediately brushing after eating. Ideally, it is best to wait for an hour after eating to commence brushing.

Be sure to brush your teeth consistently for a minimum of two minutes to adequately remove food items and plaque from your smile.

Recommendations for teeth brushing:

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and hold it at a slight angle as you facilitate small back-and-forth movements.

Never brush your teeth hard as this harshness can cause gum irritation.

Begin brushing the outside of your upper and lower teeth. Next, brush the inside surfaces of your upper and lower teeth.

Now, brush the complete chewing surface of each tooth to wash away any extra food particles.

Don’t forget to carefully brush your tongue to help prevent bad breath by cleaning airborne bacteria and excess food particles.

Lastly, choose an antimicrobial mouthwash or rinse to achieve a deep clean and prevent gum disease and gingivitis.

Flossing with Braces

While flossing after every meal would be ideal, it is more realistic to floss once a day. Once you develop the proper technique, flossing will only add one minute to your oral care routine. Before bed is a great time to floss to remove any bacteria or food particles that are stuck in between your teeth to stop spreading through your mouth while you sleep.

Either unwaxed or waxed floss will effectively take plaque bacteria off of your teeth. Waxed floss has a reputation for being easier to glide between teeth, making it less prone to shred as you are using it.

Proper Flossing Technique

Begin with 18 inches of floss. It needs to be long enough to wrap around your fingers and be able to move easily to access your molars.

Tightly hold the floss and move it up and down between each tooth in a gentle manner. Have some toilet paper or a tissue handy to wipe away any loose plaque or food pieces. Be extra vigilant around the base of each tooth to carefully access the gum line.

Curve the floss into a C-shape as you clean the base of each tooth to remove any debris from below the gums. Work gently to access teeth close together or tight spaces between teeth. Never force the floss as this can lead to bruised or cut gums and bleeding.