Brush and Floss Properly!

I think we can all assume just how important it is to brush and floss properly when you’re wearing braces — but what’s the best way to do execute that? How about we start with your basic brushing tools: Either a soft-bristled brush or a bi-level brush (one that has shorter bristles in the middle and longer bristles along the edges) will be effective. You want to brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice per day (especially after meals). Be sure to brush all around the tooth surfaces: front, back, and the chewing surfaces as well. You want to especially take care when cleaning the areas between the wires and teeth, and between the brackets and gums — that’s where food particles can easily become trapped and become troublesome.

If you’re ever having trouble cleaning the areas around your brackets and wires, there are special tools designed to help. One tool, in particular, is the interdental toothbrush. This toothbrush has a small tuft of bristles that stick up all around, sort of like a pipe cleaner. Use it gently and carefully to clean the tiny spaces underwires and around bands and brackets to remove any tricky buildup.

Now, the next important to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy is flossing at least once per day. But how on earth do you get floss under the archwire of your braces? Fear not there’s a way! It’s not impossible with the help of a floss threader. This specific device is somewhat like threading a needle: You pull one end of the floss through the threader and then push the threader — carrying with it the free end of the floss — under the archwire. You then grasp the floss on each end and slide it up and down the sides of both teeth, and all the way under the gums until you hear a cute little squeaky sound. Finally, pull it out and use a new section of floss for the next area that needs some attention. And this is how you keep them gems clean when wearing braces.