Brushing & Flossing

Before you brush your teeth at night, begin flossing. Be sure to comb carefully along and under the gum lines. Flossing dislodges food deposits that breed bacteria and decay. With braces, there’s more territory to floss, but there’s help. A reusable floss threader makes it easier to pull floss underneath your arch wire. With a little practice, you’ll be flossing like a pro.

Before you begin to brush, select a toothbrush with soft bristles. Toothbrushes today are orthodontically contoured, with a channel cut out so the bristles in the center are shorter, allowing you to brush your teeth and braces simultaneously, keeping both clean.

Electric toothbrushes also have an orthodontic head. Brushing on an angle aids in cleaning above and below the wires.

Proxy brushes aid in cleaning between the braces, especially after meals. It’s very important to rinse and brush every surface of your braces and your teeth—fronts, sides, and backs. Also, gently brush your gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth. Allow the brush to do the work. Carefully examine your teeth and braces to make sure every surface is spotless.

Call your orthodontist right away if you find loose or broken brackets.–American Association of Orthodontists