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Flossing with Braces

How Do I Care For and Brush My Teeth With Braces?

October 4th, 2015

While it’s normally up to you to ensure that your mouth is healthy and your nearly-straightened teeth are clean, orthodontists require regular and timely brushing and flossing of teeth. Braces are specialized appliances placed on one’s teeth to correct their position and improve speech. They come in different sizes for every individual, and are proven to align the teeth to stay in proper position. However, one of the famous questions that are asked every day is, HOW DO I BRUSH AND FLOSS MY TEETH WITH BRACES?

Everyone will agree that it can be a real obstacle to keep proper oral health and boost self-care habits while in orthodontic treatment. Braces can be the perfect location to hide all food particles, plaque and saliva build-up.


Brushing your teeth with brackets on isn’t much different to brushing without them. Many of those with braces typically brush their teeth at least twice every day. There’s a lot of information to know, more than mere brushing after every meal.
Before you begin brushing, swish some clean water around your mouth to get rid of any lying food particle. It’s always overlooked, but orthodontists typically require that you gently run your finger up and down the brush’s bristles. It’s imperative as it removes any food particle left.
A soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste are the perfect components to keep your teeth clean. However, standard orthodontic treatment recommends the best anti-tooth decay product, frequently a fluoride-based. Using a “go-between” brush, commonly called a “proxabrush” is highly recommended as their heads can easily and quickly be replaced, and their bristles are cone-shaped.

A proxabrush cleans the teeth behind every archwire, in-between the brackets and work well on where flossing is insufficient or where the floss-thread won’t easily clean. It’s critical to use them every time you are cleaning your teeth as getting them isn’t a huge task.

When using the proxabrush, carefully move it in small, circular movements to reach all food debris including those trapped under the gum line. Additionally, do not use lots of energy; hold the brush at an angle while covering all places between the teeth, their surfaces, and between the brackets. It should take you some time to guarantee thorough cleaning of your teeth. Navigate it on the top of all teeth, further to your “wisdom teeth” and in a circular motion.


It’s worth mentioning that unlike the common belief that flossing with braces isn’t possible, it’s equally important. It’s incomplete to brush, hence, failing to floss or improperly doing it can increase the risk of a tooth disease. Brushing alone isn’t an adequate measure that warrant clean and healthy teeth, thus flossing is another important step, especially to clean those locations where your brush can’t reach. Reusable floss thread, will remove food particles and plaque, this will typically take more time than just brushing. Similar to brushing, little energy as well as careful flossing between the arch wires and braces, and between the teeth and gums is critical.


But how often should I brush my teeth? How often should I floss? Dr. Varghese recommends at least four times that include:

▪ After having your breakfast,
▪ After lunch
▪ After dinner, and
▪ Before bed.

Gingivitis can form within 48 hours. It is, thus, clear that if you miss brushing and flossing for two consecutive days, or even adopt an improper brushing technique, you will be risking exposure to plenty of diseases not to mention the discoloration of your teeth.

Ordinary oral diseases, including gingivitis and plaque thrive on the germs resulting from food debris. Flossing must be followed, then, use an antibacterial mouthwash. Varghese Orthodontics recommends at least 30 seconds of rinsing. After a few rinsing and spitting sessions, a bit of water can help restore the freshness.

Apparently, different from the common belief that braces on your teeth can’t inhibit a thorough cleaning; you can surely maintain the health of your teeth with them on. They will gradually straighten and keep them healthier but if a poor cleaning technique is maintained, the risk of the most common oral diseases can be real.

Research has proven that although absolute abstinence from brushing eventually leads to tooth decay, poor brushing and flossing will also result in the same. Furthermore, an individual with braces, but who seldom brush their teeth and who practice substandard brushing, face the same risks.

Please do not hesitate to contact our offices at 630.907.9680 or 847.961.5515 if any questions arise regarding your oral health during your orthodontic treatment.

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