Brushing and Flossing

Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

To avoid cavities and gum disease while you have braces, we recommend brushing and flossing after each meal. Make sure to remove all food particles from the tooth surfaces and around your orthodontic appliances.

The development of cavities or gum disease can interrupt your orthodontic treatment and delay your results. Gum disease is an infection in the gum tissue that results in inflammation of the gum tissue, a foul odor, sensitivity, and bleeding when brushing and flossing. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious periodontitis, which can results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.

If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, ask a member of our Killeen or Salado, TX orthodontic team. We can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.

Brushing with Braces

Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. As an alternative, you can use a powered toothbrush to increase your brushing effectiveness. Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.

brushing with braces

Flossing with Braces

Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which will also help keep your treatment time on track. To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire. Wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of taught floss between them. Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back and forth motion. Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth. If you find that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, ask us about a water flosser!

flossing with braces

American Dental Association Member American Association of Orthodontists American Board of Orthodontics Member