Brushing & Flossing with Braces

Dr. Pardo and her amazing team want all our patients wearing braces to enjoy the time they spend improving their smiles. One of the best ways to ensure that your Ashland orthodontics experience is trouble-free, is to do a great job of brushing and flossing your teeth.

While it is always important to do a good job of brushing and flossing, maintaining good oral hygiene takes on even more importance when you’re wearing braces. This is because food debris and plaque has many more places to hide when your teeth are covered with brackets and wires. Here is some helpful information to ensure you’re doing an excellent job of keeping your teeth and appliances clean while you’re in treatment.

Brushing Fundamentals

You can use one of several types of toothbrushes including:

  • A regular toothbrush with soft bristles
  • A bi-level toothbrush
  • An electric toothbrush on a moderate setting

If you use an electric toothbrush, be sure that the back of the brush doesn’t come into contact with your braces so the vibrations emitted cannot loosen your appliances. You can use any brand or flavor of toothpaste you like as long as it contains fluoride.

How to Brush

  • Spend at least 2 full minutes brushing your teeth after each meal and before bedtime.
  • Use small circular motions when brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth.
  • After gently brushing all the outside tooth surfaces and your braces, tilt the brush toward the gum line while continuing to use circular motions.
  • Use a back and forth motion to thoroughly brush the chewing surfaces of your back teeth.
  • Finish by brushing the inside surfaces of your teeth the same way you brushed the outside surfaces.

Special Brushing Tools

If you’re experiencing problems brushing your teeth well around your appliances, you can use an interdental toothbrush or proxabrush. This is a special tool that looks like a pipe cleaner that can reach into all the tight spaces around your braces.

Another tool that can make brushing easier is a water pick. This devices shoots a small stream of water at your teeth which can help remove tiny bits of food that get trapped in all the small spaces around your appliances. A water pick should not replace brushing and flossing as it should only be used as an extra tool when cleaning your teeth.


You should be flossing your teeth at least once per day using a floss threader. Just pull one end of the floss through the threader and then push the threader, taking with it the free end of the floss, under your archwire. Then grasp the floss on each end and slide it up and down the sides of both teeth all the way down just under the gum line. Continue doing this until you’ve cleaned between and around all your teeth.

Contact Your Ashland Orthodontist

It is of the utmost importance that you do a great job of brushing and flossing your teeth while you’re improving your smile. The last thing you want is to be told you must wear braces longer than you thought due to a problem like tooth decay. If you have any questions about maintaining good oral hygiene while you’re wearing braces, please contact us as we’re always happy to speak with you!