Oral Hygiene

General Information

Braces themselves do not cause cavities. However, their presence can accelerate problems if proper care is not taken. A daily program of brushing and flossing is essential to prevent decay, gum disease, as well as to assure the proper result of treatment. Remember, teeth move faster through healthy tissues!



Brush after eating and just before bedtime. Thorough brushing of the teeth, gums, and appliances usually takes about 3 minutes, so it is important to take your time. The goal is to establish a pattern of brushing so you don’t miss any areas.

Effective tooth brushes small heads and have soft bristles. New toothbrushes with bristles that have rounded ends prevent damage to the gums. Also, use of a proxy brush, as shown below will help keep brackets clean.

Floss Once a Day. In order for your gums to be healthy during orthodontic treatment, you should use dental floss. We recommend unwaxed dental floss. We will demonstrate the best way to use the floss and floss threaders.

When you cannot brush right away, Rinse with Water. Be sure to brush at your earliest opportunity.

Irrigation Devices. Oral irrigation devices such as a Water PikĀ® can be a useful for removing food but it is not a replacement to brushing and flossing. It cannot remove the plaque that adheres to the teeth and appliances.

Brushing Techniques for Braces

Brushing with a Proxabrush

Flossing with Braces