Dental hygiene

Keeping a healthy smile

Braces create small ledges, nooks and crannies for food deposits, which can lead to cavities and gum problems. This makes brushing and flossing even more important while you are wearing braces. When you brush and floss, handle your appliances carefully so you won’t break or loosen them. Following these brushing and eating tips will keep your appliances and your smile healthy.

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Be sure to brush your teeth right after every meal and before you go to bed. It’s best to use fluoride toothpaste to help fight cavities. Your orthodontist may prescribe a special fluoride paste that you will brush with at night to help prevent cavities. Try to brush like this:

  1. Start by brushing the outside of each tooth at least 10 times.
  2. Then brush where your gums and teeth meet, using a circular motion.
  3. Brush the inside surface of each tooth at least 10 times.
  4. Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth last.

Remember, you should be brushing at least four times a day – once at breakfast, at lunch, after school and before you go to bed. If you are not able to brush after you eat, be sure to rinse thoroughly with water, and NEVER skip brushing at night before you go to bed.


Because your toothbrush won’t reach between your teeth, brushing alone won’t keep your teeth clean and healthy. Flossing can help. A floss threader, available from us or a pharmacy, helps you floss with braces on. Floss once a day, like this:

  1. Thread floss through the threader and slip it up behind your archwire.
  2. Pull the floss between two teeth and up under your gum margins.
  3. Rinse with lots of clean water, and watch your teeth and braces sparkle.