Maintaining a Healthy Smile: The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene During Orthodontic Treatment

Maintaining a Healthy Smile: The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene During Orthodontic Treatment

June 5, 2023  |  braces, oral hygiene, orthodontist
A little girl smiling with braces

When it comes to the health of your teeth when wearing braces there is nothing more important than proper oral hygiene.  


Braces do wonders for your oral health and teeth alignment, but they can also make keeping your mouth clean and fresh more difficult.  


Poor oral hygiene habits can leave food stuck in your teeth and braces for days at a time. This can lead to a build-up of plaque which can lead to problems like cavities or swollen gums. They can also leave yellow stains behind when the braces are removed.  


So, how do you keep your teeth and gums healthy when you have braces or other orthodontic treatments? 


What are the signs that you need braces? Find out here! 


In this post, we will give you some brushing tips for people with braces, as well as tips for flossing around your braces.  

What is the Best Way to Brush My Teeth When I Have Braces? 

The importance of good oral hygiene goes far beyond maintaining a healthy smile. Good oral hygiene benefits include healthy breath, intact enamel, and protection from plaque. It all starts with effective brushing habits.  


How long should I brush while wearing braces? 


Whether you have braces or not, we recommend that you brush with toothpaste for at least 2 minutes. If you have food stuck in your braces, then it is recommended you take extra care and brush for four to five minutes in addition to flossing.  


How often should I brush braces? 


It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice per day. It is best to brush once in the morning after breakfast and then after dinner but before bed. With braces, it is a good idea to clean your teeth after lunch or anytime you eat to remove any stuck food particles.  


What kind of toothpaste and toothbrush should I use with braces? 


When brushing your teeth, be sure to use toothpaste with fluoride to remove plaque and keep your teeth free from decay. A soft bristle toothbrush is also recommended.  


How do I keep my gums healthy when I have braces? 


Don’t neglect your gums when brushing. Food can collect along the gum line and if left there, bacteria develop. These bacteria can make the gums tender and swollen and may even cause them to bleed.  


How do I Floss When I Have Braces? 


Many people wonder how to floss and take care of their teeth when they have braces. Flossing is a highly effective way to remove excess food particles from between your teeth. It is easy to forget about flossing when you have braces across your teeth. Use these key tips for flossing success that will keep your teeth clean and healthy.  


Proper flossing technique with braces  


You need to learn proper flossing technique with braces before you dive in.  


  • Start by threading the floss under the main wire to clean in between the wires and your teeth 

  • Next, floss your teeth as normal, getting in between each tooth 

  • Replace floss with a new strand when it becomes soiled 

Be sure to use plenty of floss 


Remember that you have to thread your floss through your braces. So, be sure you have enough to grip on either end, a 40 cm piece of floss is ideal.  

Use the right kind of floss for the best results with braces 


The best types of floss to use are waxed floss, dental tape floss picks, or a special braces cleaning brush such as a Waterpik toothbrush. 


Unwaxed floss is likely to shred on the braces or get caught. Ask your dentist or orthodontist for their recommendation to find the best option for you. 


Better Oral Hygiene with Braces at Shine Orthodontics 


When you have braces, your teeth need a little extra care to keep them clean.  


If you have questions about how to best keep your braces clean, Shine Orthodontics is here for you.  


We proudly serve patients in Chillicothe, Maineville, and Lebanon, Ohio.  


For a smile that shines, reach out to Shine Orthodontics today!