Back to Basics: Brushing with Braces

Sep 29, 2020

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is always important. But, it is even more so when dealing with braces! Without proper oral hygiene, the risk of complications, like cavities or gum disease, rises significantly. However, with proper care, discipline, and thorough brushing, you will be just fine! Read on for our tips about proper toothbrushing habits while wearing braces.

Which toothbrush is best for braces?

There is no single toothbrush specifically designed for braces. Ultimately, the most important aspect of brushing teeth with braces is your technique. Make sure you choose a brush with soft bristles, a comfortable grip, and a small enough head that you can get to hard-to-reach areas. Whether you choose a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, being thorough and not rushing are crucial. 

How long should you brush with braces?

When you have appliances, we recommend going above and beyond typical brushing habits. It’s important to brush at least twice a day (ideally after every single meal or snack!) for four minutes each time. If you can’t brush that often due to work or school, swish with water to help remove loose food particles from underneath the wires or from your brackets. And, remember to floss diligently!

How do you brush teeth with braces?

You want to hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. It is important that you brush all around each bracket—not just the front surface of them. You want to get in between each bracket to clear out the food that may be stuck. As always, brush, under the gumline, and on all reachable surfaces of your teeth.

While brushing with braces requires a thorough technique, it will become a normal part of your routine quickly! Between wires, brackets, and o-rings, food can get caught easily in your braces. Because of this, remember to floss diligently once a day between each tooth. If bacteria gather and plaque is not brushed or flossed away, it can lead to tartar, gum disease, and risk the development of cavities. In the end, you will thank yourself for taking such good care of your oral hygiene—even if new brushing habits take you a few extra minutes each day. Your healthy, beautiful, and aligned smile will be worth it!

Ready to schedule an appointment?

If you are ready to learn more about any of our treatments or if you want to book a consultation, call our Hutta & Cook Orthodontics team today.