How To Brush Your Teeth With Braces

Posted on 07/13/2017

Helpful Tips From Your Longview & Vancouver, WA Orthodontist

Girl with braces holding floss and toothbrush

Once Dr. Lauren Cai has placed braces on your teeth, it's up to you to keep up with your daily oral routine so that your soon-to-be new smile will last a lifetime. It's very important that you do a good job when it comes to brushing and flossing your teeth while you're wearing braces, so you don't run into any problems that can throw your treatment off-track like cavities or early stages of gum disease. It does take a little more effort to brush your teeth when they're covered with brackets and wires; however, all the extra effort you put in will be worth it in the end when you have that amazing new and healthy smile that you've been working hard to achieve!

The biggest threat to your teeth is the buildup of plaque - a sticky substance on your teeth from the bacteria that comes from the foods you eat. All the nooks and crannies around your braces provide plaque with plenty of places for it to hide. If you don't remove plaque from around your braces and from your teeth, you can easily develop cavities, swollen gums, bad breath, and even unsightly etching of the enamel on your teeth, which can be difficult and even impossible to remove.

When Should You Brush Your Teeth

Our Longview and Vancouver, WA orthodontist recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day or more. We encourage our patients wearing braces to brush:

  • After breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • After enjoying a between-meal snack
  • Before bedtime

If you cannot brush your teeth after eating, then at least rinse out your mouth well with water.

Steps To Brush Properly When Wearing Braces  

Brushing your teeth when you're wearing braces isn't so much different than brushing without braces. You should still use a toothbrush with soft bristles (or a battery-operated brush) and an ADA-approved toothpaste containing fluoride. You should brush your teeth each time for a full two minutes.

The steps you should take when brushing your teeth with braces include:

  1. Brush back and forth across, between the wires and gums on the upper and lower teeth to loosen any food particles.
  2. Next, brush correctly as if you had no brackets or appliances on.
  3. Start on the outside of the uppers with the bristles at a 45 degree angle toward the gum and scrub with a circular motion two or three teeth at a time using ten strokes, then move on.
  4. Next, do the same on the inner surface of the upper teeth.
  5. Then, go to the lower teeth and repeat steps 1 and 2.

Contact Your Longview & Vancouver Orthodontist

Dr. Cai and her incredibleteam want all our patients to have an enjoyable orthodontic experience! To ensure you can breeze through your time spent wearing braces, be sure to do a good job of brushing and flossing your teeth. If you have any questions or need some tips to make cleaning your teeth easier, just give us a shout and we'll help! You can reach us at our Vancouver office at (360) 882-5090 or our Longview office at (360) 425-8210.