How to Maintain Oral Hygiene with Braces

Close-up of a female with braces, holding a toothbrush and braces cleaning brush.

Have you just had your braces fitted?

Are you now thinking about how to look after them or how to just carry on with your normal hygiene routine?

When you have braces, it should be even more frequent.

It takes a little longer to brush and floss with braces, but it is worth it.

You will have a beautiful, healthy smile when your braces come off.

We’ve put together our guide to help with the process.

Step-By-Step Oral Hygiene Routine with Braces

1. Brush Your Teeth (and Braces):

  • After eating, brush your teeth.
  • Fluoride helps protect your teeth’s enamel.
  • Don’t use whitening toothpaste; whitening agents will only work on areas where it touches, so wait until your braces are removed.
  • Use an interdental brush if your toothbrush hasn’t removed all food particles.

2. Floss

Take about 20cm of floss and wrap it around your index fingers. Thread the floss between the wire and teeth. Using firm pressure, gently move the floss between the teeth and into the gum to remove plaque and food particles. If you have trouble brushing or flossing with braces, call the clinic or ask for another demonstration at your next appointment.

3. Inspect Your Teeth and Braces

Take a quick look at your teeth to ensure you have removed all food and plaque.
Check the brackets and wires to ensure nothing is loose or broken.

4. Wax

If your brackets or wires are causing discomfort, take a small ball of wax and smooth it over any part of the braces, where required. If the irritation continues, call the clinic.

Important Oral Hygiene Tips

Besides brushing and flossing, there are a few other points to remember to keep your teeth healthy and stain-free.

1. Avoid Snacking

  • If you eat snacks, try to make healthy choices.
  • Eating sugary treats directly after meals, just before brushing your teeth, is best.
  • Eating or drinking something sweet between meals can mean the sugar sits on your teeth and braces for hours, which can cause cavities and staining.

2. Change Your Toothbrush Regularly

A toothbrush isn’t effective if its bristles are worn. Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every three months. Your braces may cause your toothbrush to wear faster.
Change your toothbrush when the bristles are no longer straight.

3. Visit the Dentist

While you’re visiting the orthodontist regularly, it’s not the same as seeing the dentist.
While your braces are on, you should see your dentist every six months to have your teeth professionally cleaned.

If You Let Your Oral Hygiene Routine Slip

Give your teeth a thorough brush and floss as soon as possible.

A lack of oral hygiene is one of the main reasons for developing gum infection. Once you have a gum infection, your orthodontist may need to stop adjusting your braces until the infection clears.

If you have any oral hygiene queries, don’t hesitate to call or contact us online – we’re always happy to help.

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The Dental Group Westchester proudly provides professional dental services for people from New York City, The Bronx, White Plains, Westchester County, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

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