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7 Tips on Properly Brushing and Flossing With Braces

by Dr Satish Pai(more info)

listed in dentistry, originally published in issue 277 - March 2022


There are various set of aftercare instructions you get from your orthodontist after your braces treatment, including brushing with braces. It is vital to follow all the instructions regarding oral hygiene to make your teeth straightening treatment successful. 


7 Tips on Properly Brushing and Flossing With Braces


But it is a bit tricky to brush your teeth with braces. Therefore we are mentioning 7 helpful tips here on brushing with braces:-

  1. Number of Times to Brush

People without braces are generally suggested to brush twice a day. But if you are on braces, you need to follow an unusual routine. You need to brush after all the main meals of your day. So you need to remember to brush after breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bedtime. Getting lazy and skipping to brush can lead to severe infections like gingivitis in your teeth;

  1. Type of Toothbrush

It is advisable to use a soft-bristled toothbrush if you are on braces. Your teeth are in vulnerable condition after teeth straightening treatment. Stiff bristles can damage them. Choose a brush with an angled head to clean the plaque from inside the braces. You can also use the latest devices like an electric toothbrush and a water pick. But remember to keep the electric toothbrush in sensitive mode;

  1. Type of Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is, as such, not good for your teeth. Their whitening agents are made up of some harmful chemicals. Apart from causing damage to your teeth, whitening toothpaste will partially whiten your teeth, leaving the area covered with brackets. You don’t want to end up with spotted teeth after braces treatment. Hence, use a regular toothpaste made for sensitive teeth;

  1. Preparation Before Brushing

You usually just pick up toothpaste and a brush and start brushing. But brushing with braces requires preparing your teeth beforehand. First, clean your teeth of the residue of the foods eaten, then begin to brush. (We hope that you are not eating chewy, sticky and hard foods while on braces.) You can use a toothpick or a rubber-tipped gum massager to clear your teeth of any morsel. After this, rinse your mouth well to get it to steer clear of anymore lodged food;

  1. Brushing With Braces Technique

The correct technique of brushing with braces is also crucial. It would be best if you brush your gums before starting to brush your teeth. Brush them at a 45-degree angle. You need to keep tilting your brush to get it inside all the brackets. Take short circular strokes to get inside gums and braces. And take flat strokes to clean the surface. Go slow and gentle on both teeth and braces. Brush for more than 2 minutes when you are on braces;

  1. Floss Along With Brush

Flossing once in a day is as essential as brushing while you are undergoing teeth straightening. You need a floss thread while you are on braces. Still, it will be more complicated to floss with braces. Be patient and invest time in flossing if you want healthy teeth after braces;

  1. Technique of Flossing With Braces

Wrap the floss thread around a finger of your one hand and hold its other end in your other hand’s finger. Engulf each tooth in a C shape with the thread to clean it. You can clean each tooth in the same way for at least 20-30 seconds. Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash after flossing.

These are some basic but crucial tips regarding brushing teeth with braces routine. The tips mentioned above will help you come out of your braces treatment with healthy teeth. For more help, it’s important that you consult your orthodontist and follow all instructions. 

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About Dr Satish Pai

Dr Satish Pai MS DDS MPH MDS is an orthodontist and an Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great.  As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Rome Othodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing and spending time with his family. Dr Pai has been practising and teaching orthodontics at Columbia University, New York City for 14 years, specializing in Invisalign® Damon braces® for children, teens, and adults. Dr Satish Pai is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Orthodontics at Columbia University, College of Dental Medicine. Dr Pai completed a Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from Columbia University, College of Dental Medicine. Dr Pai may be contacted via   Brite Orthodontics

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