Brushing and Flossing

At the San Antonio orthodontic office of Dr. Roy Gonzalez, we believe that educating our patients is an essential part of good orthodontic care. This guide will help you learn how to properly brush and floss with braces.

What Is The Best Way To Brush My Teeth With Braces?

Find the Right Toothbrush and Paste

Brushing with braces.

Choosing the right toothbrush is the first step to a good brushing routine. We recommend finding a brush that has soft bristles. Bi-level bristles (shorter bristles in the middle and longer bristles at the edges) can also help clean teeth. Another option is using an electric toothbrush. We recommend the rotary brushes as opposed to the ultra-sonic ones.

For your toothpaste, we recommend using one that contains fluoride, which helps strengthen tooth enamel from decay for a stronger and healthier smile.

Brushing Technique & Timing

Move your toothbrush in small, circular motions over the entire surface of your teeth. Since food particles and bacteria often build up around the gums, you should hold your brush at an angle so the bristles face the gums. This will allow the bristles of your brush to clear away those particles without being blocked by the brackets.

It is recommended that you brush your teeth using this technique at least two times per day for at least two minutes after meals. This will clear away food particles, which can cause cavities, gum disease and decalcification, otherwise known as the white marks on teeth.

Special Tools To Help With Brushing
Interdental toothbrush.

Even with proper brushing technique, a standard toothbrush may not completely rid your teeth of excess particles. To further bolster your brushing routine, you may consider using an interdental toothbrush, or proxabrush, which is designed to clean hard to reach areas. These brushes have a small set of bristles attached to a thin wire that can easily fit between teeth, braces, and wires to ensure a thorough clean. A water pick is another helpful tool, which uses a small stream of pressurized water to clear away food particles and bacteria from your teeth.

While both water picks and interdental toothbrushes are helpful at maintaining a clean mouth, neither are suitable as a substitute for consistent and thorough brushing and flossing.

How To Floss With Braces

It is recommended that you floss at least once per day whether you have braces or not. In addition to your regular brushing, flossing ensures that you are cleaning the hard to reach areas in between your teeth and along your gums that the bristles of your toothbrush may not be able to reach.

With braces, flossing can be more difficult since the thread can get caught in the brackets or wires and prevent it from reaching all the way down to your gum line. To fix this, we recommend using a floss threader, which is a special tool that makes it easy to slide the floss through the archwire of your braces. If you need help learning how to properly use your floss threader, Dr. Gonzalez or any of our staff members at our office will be able to help you.

Highlight Plaque and Debris with Dental Dye

It can be difficult to see the food particles and bacteria that are resting on your teeth or gums since they can often sit just outside of view in a hard to reach spot, or they blend into the natural color of our teeth. For those looking for a visual measure of how effective their oral hygiene routine is, you can use a special solution called a “disclosing solution”. The solution contains a special dye that, when applied to your teeth, sticks to food particles and plaque to make them more visible. Whether you see a large or small amount of leftover debris, you will get a better idea of how much you need to improve your oral hygiene routine. To learn more about the disclosing solution and where to get it, you can ask Dr. Gonzalez or anyone on our orthodontic staff.

Contact Us For More Oral Hygiene Tips

Ensure that your smile is as healthy as possible by maintaining a comprehensive oral hygiene routine and regularly scheduling check ups with Dr. Gonzalez. Contact us to schedule an appointment, and we’re happy to assist you if you have any questions about proper brushing or flossing technique. Choose the premier orthodontic provider for San Antonio, Texas, and the surrounding communities: Dr. Roy Gonzalez. We look forward to seeing you in our office soon!