Maintaining Proper Oral Hygiene With Braces

When you first get your braces put on you have a lot to get used to. Not only do you have to learn to be comfortable with them on your teeth, but you will need to learn how to properly maintain your oral hygiene while you are wearing braces.

How to Floss With Braces

Even though flossing with braces can be somewhat more challenging, one of the first keys is to get over the idea that it's too tough to do. Once you get used to it, you will be able to make it a regular part of your dental care. Using a floss threader, or special orthodontic floss, will help to keep food out of your braces and plaque from building up between your teeth. Flossing needs to be done at least once per day, ideally after your evening meal.

Using the threader, begin by threading the floss behind the wire of your braces and gently slip the floss between the teeth. As you go around each tooth, make sure you are going down to your gum line. When you are done with a section, use a different portion of the floss for the next section and repeat.

 How To Brush Correctly With Braces

It's not quite re-learning completely how to properly brush, but if you've been brushing your teeth normally for a while, it can be challenging to learn to brush properly with braces.

The key to brushing your teeth with braces is to make sure you start by holding the brush at a straight angle, brushing the outside of the teeth first. Consistently move your toothbrush in small circles and from side-to-side, moving across your teeth just a short distance at a time. You can clean the rest of the outside of the teeth by angling the brush up or down, again as straight as possible, continuing to move in smooth circular motions. Finally, make sure you don't forget the tops and bottom and insides of the teeth.

 Visit Your Dentist 

Nobody is going to know how to better care for your overall dental health, and help you maintain proper oral hygiene, than your dentist. Even if you follow all the proper cleaning methods and regularly floss and avoid foods that can damage your braces, your dentist still needs to check for issues such as cavities, infections, problems with your teeth's roots and so on. Just because you have braces on does not mean you can't get cavities. An orthodontist is specifically going to maintain the braces themselves and check on the progress of your teeth's movement, leaving a lot of important regular maintenance out of the equation. A regular dental checkup helps fills in the gaps.

Use an Interdental Brush

An Interdental brush is one of the best tools you can use to safely clean underneath and around your braces. Gentle usage of an interdental brush is essential, as brushing too hard with one can eventually damage the wires themselves. Your dentist can inform you what size you need based on the space in-between your braces and your teeth.

One of the reasons you may not want to use this type of brush initially is that your gums may be tender and start to bleed a little when you start using one regularly. Much like flossing, using your interdental brush regularly will start to reduce the bleeding. If your gums continue to bleed after some time has passed, try to brush more lightly. If they continue to bleed, you may need to check with your dentist to ensure you are using the brush correctly.

Not correctly caring for your teeth while you are wearing braces can result in discoloration of your teeth once your braces are removed. It can also result in damage and rot. Be sure that you have a beautiful smile once your braces are removed by taking care of your teeth as best you can each day and visiting your orthodontist regularly. Check out sites like for more information.