Tips for Brushing and Flossing While Wearing Braces

If you are having braces put on your teeth, it is more important than ever to regularly brush and floss your teeth. If you neglect to brush and floss properly, you could end up with stains on your teeth where the color of the tooth enamel does not match the portion that was covered underneath the bracket. Here are some tips for brushing and flossing your teeth while wearing braces to take the best possible care of your oral health.

Brushing Tips

Start by brushing the outer surface of your teeth using a circular motion. This will help ensure that the bristles of the toothbrush are getting into all of the edges that surround the brackets on your teeth, which may get missed if you use a back and forth motion that you typically use. You'll then want to focus on the space located between the bottom of the brackets and your gums. Angle the bristles downward so that the toothbrush can clean the pockets along your gums where plaque tends to collect during the day. The chewing surface and rear surface can be brushed normally.

You don't need to use a hard bristle brush either to get your teeth clean. Soft bristles work great at removing the soft plaque that forms on the surface. A hard bristle toothbrush is not going to remove hard tartar or remove plaque any better, and may actually irritate your gums.

Flossing Tips

There are several ways that you can floss to keep the surface area between the teeth clean. Some people like to use a proxy brush, which is a thin white that has bristles around it. This brush makes it much easier to clean between your teeth quickly, which is especially hard in the spots found underneath the brackets and between the gums. 

If you want to use normal floss, you are going to need a floss threader in order to get to those spots underneath the brackets. It can be more time consuming to floss in this manner, but it may be the only way to get floss between teeth that are very close together. You can also use a water flosser to easily clean between the brackets and your gums. By shooting a powerful jet of water between your teeth, you'll remove any plaque that has collected on the surface during the day.

Ask an orthodontics clinic for more tips to keep your teeth clean while wearing braces.