Unforgettable Smiles Are a Team Effort.

The world is full of amazing things, and your dental habits probably don’t top your must-do list. But taking a few moments each day to maintain your orthodontic investment is all it takes to keep a healthy grin for life.

How to Clean Between Teeth with Braces

Try to brush your teeth after each meal. If you can’t actually use a toothbrush, then at least rinse out your mouth with water—swoosh it around really well and spit it out. If you can, carry a travel toothbrush with you.

Daily Care

Brushing twice per day is only one important piece of the puzzle. You should also clean between your teeth with floss at least once every day. After flossing, brush your teeth and braces thoroughly until they’re clean and shiny. The best time to do this thorough cleaning is right before bed.

Brushing often can speed up your treatment time and will prevent plaque from making marks on your teeth.  All the brackets and wires in your mouth create places for plaque to hide. Plaque is sticky and made up of food and bacteria. When plaque attaches to your braces and teeth, it causes cavities, swollen gums, bad breath, and can even permanently stain your teeth around where your brackets used to be.

Your dentist may prescribe fluoride toothpaste to help you fight tooth decay even better. If your braces look clean and shiny and if you can clearly see the edges of the brackets, you’ve done a good job! Make sure to rinse your mouth with water or use a mouth rinse after brushing.

Cleaning Between Teeth with Braces

Having wires that connect your braces from tooth to tooth makes flossing a challenge. But it can be done. Using Oral-B Super Floss, a floss threader (to get under the wires) or another interdental cleaner will help. Just ask us during your appointment and we’ll be happy to recommend our favorites!

Broken bracket? Lost band? No worries.

The Negative Impact of Poor Oral Hygiene

Your teeth and smile will be straighter and healthier thanks to orthodontic care, but braces don’t fight against stains or decay. That’s why we stress the importance of brushing and flossing when you have braces. As long as you maintain good oral hygiene habits, you’ll have a radiant smile. In severe cases of gum disease or other oral health problems, we may even have to remove your braces, wait for your gums and mouth to heal, and then reapply them. Here’s what we want to avoid:

Decalcifications

Decalcifications, sometimes called “white spots,” are permanent stains around your braces that come from poor oral hygiene. Lines and spots from decalcification remain on your teeth for life. The best way to avoid them? Don’t let them develop at all. Brushing and flossing are key!

Gingivitis

Gingivitis, also called gum disease, is the first stage of periodontal disease. It’s usually painless, but signs like bleeding when brushing, or swollen and puffy gums are indicators that you have it. This happens when plaque builds up around the gumline, so make sure to massage your gums lightly when you brush, and floss thoroughly.

Periodontitis

If untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, infection and inflammation in the gums that spreads to the ligaments and bone that support the teeth. The gums start to pull away, forming gaps or pockets between your teeth that allow more plaque to accumulate.