Brushing and Flossing
Whether or not you are wearing braces, brushing the teeth twice daily is important. Although for people who wear braces, brushing after every meal is recommended as food can get trapped around the brackets. Manual or electric toothbrushes can be used for cleaning around braces.
Brushing teeth with braces
- Remove any rubber bands or removable appliances associated with your orthodontic treatment. These should be rinsed or cleaned before placing them back in your mouth.
- Place a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush.
- Start by brushing at the gum line of your teeth by holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums with the brush bristles split evenly over the teeth and gums. Move the toothbrush gently in small circular or back-forward motions.
- Turn the toothbrush to face the bristles downwards to clean the top of the brackets.
- Turn the brush again to clean at an upward angle to along the bottom of your brackets.
- After brushing, spit out the excess toothpaste but do not rinse your mouth with water. This allows the fluoride paste to sit on the teeth for longer, increasing protection.
Interdental cleaning with braces
Cleaning between the teeth with string floss can be tricky while wearing braces but it is still important to clean between the teeth every day. Other options such as floss threaders for braces or interdental brushes can assist with cleaning. Interdental brushes can help to clean between the teeth as well as between the orthodontic brackets.
Cleaning between brackets with an interdental brush. Getty images.
Cleaning clear aligners
When cleaning your teeth, ideally twice per day, also clean your clear aligners. The trays can be cleaned with an antibacterial liquid soap used along with a spare toothbrush. Rinse well following with warm water.
Teeth can be brushed and flossed as per normal.