To Keep Your Teeth Stay Healthy & Free From Decay During Orthodontic Treatment, A Proper Oral Hygiene Is Necessary. Learn To Brush & Floss With Braces Here!

Brushing and Flossing

Brushing & Flossing

A consistent oral hygiene routine with proper brushing and flossing technique is essential to maintain a healthy mouth.  With braces, the importance of a good oral hygiene increases dramatically, since food particles can easily be caught within the brackets and wires.  If these particles are not cleared away, they will quickly break down into acid and bacteria that will eat away at the teeth, leaving your smile in need of repair even after you get your braces off. 

At Dr. Roy Gonzalez’s office, it’s our goal to ensure that our patients maintain their healthy smiles, which is why we have put together this guide on how to brush and floss when you’re wearing braces.  

What Is The Best Way To Brush With Braces?

We recommend using a soft-bristle brush or a bi-level brush (one that has shorter bristles in the middle and longer bristles at the edges), since they can effectively get the bristles in the small spaces in the brackets. An electric toothbrush on a moderate power setting is also an option, but be careful to not let the vibrations cause the hard, back part of the brush to hit the braces, since they could be damaged.  

Brushing with braces.

Brush your teeth using small, circular motions, rotating the bristles of your brush around the outside and inside of your teeth to thoroughly clean the entire surface of the tooth. To get in the area between the braces and the gums, tilt the brush at an angle so the bristles are facing the gums. 

We also recommend that you use toothpaste that contains fluoride, since it helps restore essential minerals to the teeth. Brush two times each day for two minutes after your meals, and you should be able to effectively clear away any food particles. 


Special Tools To Help With Brushing

Interdental toothbrush.

If you are having any difficulty getting the bristles of your toothbrush in between the brackets and wires of your braces, you can use an interdental toothbrush, or proxabrush. This brush has a small set of bristles that can easily fit between brackets to clear away any food particles. You can also use a water pick, which shoots a small stream of pressurized water at your teeth, which can help dislodge bits of food that become trapped in nooks and crannies.  Neither the water pick or interdental toothbrush should be used to substitute for normal brushing and flossing.    

How To Floss With Braces

It is recommended that you floss at least once per day, in additional to your regular brushing. Flossing can be difficult with braces, since the thread can get caught on the brackets or wires, preventing it from cleaning all the way down to your gumline.  To fix this issue, you should use a floss threader, which allows you to easily slide the floss through the archwire. If you need help with learning how to use your floss threader, just ask Dr. Gonzalez or anyone on our dental staff and they will help you. 

Using Dye To Highlight Plaque & Debris 

Sometimes food particles and bacteria can be hiding just out of view, or blend in with the color of our teeth so we don’t notice. To see how effective your oral hygiene routine is, you can get a special solution called “disclosing solution” that highlights plaque and food debris with a colored dye, making it stand out.  If you notice a lot of leftover debris, you may need to be a bit more thorough with your brushing and flossing. To learn more about disclosing solution, just ask Dr. Gonzalez or our staff. 

Contact Us For More Helpful Tips

If you want to make sure that your new smile is as healthy as can be, keep up a thorough and consistent oral hygiene routine, and come to your regularly scheduled appointment at the orthodontic office of Dr. Roy Gonzalez. If you need any assistance or have any questions about brushing or flossing technique while you’re in braces, just contact us or schedule an appointment, and we’ll be happy to help you!

The office of Dr. Roy Gonzalez, Jr.

  • Dr. Roy Gonzalez, Jr. - 1100 N.W. Loop 410 Suite 560, San Antonio, TX 78213 Phone: 210-344-9295

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