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Brushing and Flossing With Braces: A How-To Guide for Parents and Children

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Protect the future of your smile by learning the proper techniques for brushing and flossing with braces. Brushing with braces represents a time-consuming task. And, flossing with braces can prove tricky for beginners. But, both routines serve an essential purpose—to give you the best possible smile at the end of your orthodontic journey.

Our friendly staff at Lake Jeanette Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry emphasize the increased importance of dental hygiene while wearing braces. The damage caused by neglect presents even more serious complications than it would for someone without braces. So, let’s go over the best ways to brush and floss with braces.

Brushing With Braces

Tools Required:

  • Soft Toothbrush
  • Interdental Toothbrush
  • Fluoride Toothpaste

Even though brushing with braces may seem tedious, you should brush your teeth more often than you did before you got braces. The buildup of plaque on your teeth and under your gums accelerates by collecting around your brackets.

brushing and flossing with braces

Standard Brushing

Brushing with braces takes a little extra care. A soft-bristled toothbrush is required because other options can wear away the cement used to secure your brackets. Choosing a toothbrush with a small head will decrease the likelihood that you accidentally sheer off a bracket with your brush’s hard plastic.

At the very least, you should brush your teeth four times per day, once after each meal and once before bed. Consider brushing after every snack, as well.

To brush your teeth, position your toothbrush with the bristles pointing away from your gum line at a 45° angle. Then, gently brush the inside and outside of your teeth using short, circular motions. You can brush the crowns of your bicuspids and molars using a back-and-forth motion. Be careful not to ram your brackets with the head of your toothbrush.

Interdental Brushing

An interdental brush is a small toothbrush with a conical head of short bristles radiating outward, like a tiny pipe cleaner. To brush your teeth with it, gently slide the head under your archwire and clean the sides of your teeth and brackets using an up-and-down motion. Use caution to ensure you do not dislodge your archwire when pulling out the brush.

Flossing With Braces

Tools Required:

  • Dental Floss
  • Reusable Floss Threader

Flossing with braces requires patience and skill. The difficulty in threading the dental floss under the archwire can be eased with a reusable floss threader.

To floss your teeth, pull out a length of floss from the dispenser, cut it, and pull one end through the eye of the reusable threader. Then, carefully thread the threader under your archwire while holding one end of the floss. Finally, grab the other end of the floss, wrap one end around each of your index fingers, and floss as you usually would.

You’ll need to repeat this process for every pair of adjacent teeth. The process takes time but will improve the overall results of your orthodontic care.

Have you decided it’s time to improve your child’s smile? Call Lake Jeanette Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry at (336) 286-0200 for further details.


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