Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene Guide

How to Clean Braces

The following is a guide to oral hygiene when wearing braces. This description of effective cleaning techniques is also available in Portable Document Format (PDF) for you to download and print.


How to Clean Braces

Braces trap food very easily which promotes plaque formation. Plaque can lead to gum disease and enamel damage. With the daily use of effective oral hygiene techniques, plaque build-up can be prevented.

The foundation of good oral hygiene is effective brushing. This is done with a fluoridated tooth paste and a soft bristled brush. Brushing should be done after every meal and snack and should be done slowly and carefully. It is important to not only brush the braces but also brush both the inside and chewing surfaces of the teeth.

The Three Steps to Effective Brushing

Step 1

Holding the brush straight against the braces, scrub in small circles 10 times.

Step 2

Holding the brush at an angle towards the chewing surface, scrub in small circles 10 times.

Step 3

This is the most important Step: Holding the brush to the gums as shown in the photo, scrub in small circles 10 times. Make sure that the gumline is also being cleaned.

All the above can also be done with an electric toothbrush.


Flossing With Braces 

Flossing with braces should be done once a day.

Floss Threader

Flossing with braces should be done once a day. A floss threader is very helpful in getting the floss under the archwire.

Superfloss

Another way to floss with braces is to use superfloss. One end is a floss threader and the other end can be used for flossing

How to use Floss

The floss should be moved up and down along the sides of the teeth and under the gumline to remove the plaque.


Other Cleaning Techniques 

Other hygiene aids that can be used to help keep your braces clean include:

Proxy Brush

Sulcabrush

End Tuft Brush


Mouthwashes 

Mouthwashes are good at helping to maintain a clean mouth.

They are best used one or two times each day after brushing. To get the best effect from using a mouthwash, try not to rinse with water after using it. If you find the taste of the rinse is too strong, it may help to mix the mouthwash with water, half and half.

 

 

Be sure to talk with your orthodontic specialist about other helpful tips on how to prevent permanent marks, or even cavities on your teeth, and also any gum infections (or problems) while you're wearing your braces.

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