Brushing your teeth with braces isn’t too different from brushing normally. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush along the line of your gums. Then shift the brush to carefully brush the tops of your brackets. Reposition again to angle upwards and brush the undersides of the brackets and wire.
Protect Your Results and Your Oral Health
The way you care for your teeth at home—whether you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment or not—determines a lot about the health of your teeth and gums. Following our teeth care guide in Virginia from our board-certified orthodontists is the best way to ensure great at-home habits to care for your teeth.
Our Teeth Care Guide
Keeping your teeth clean while wearing braces is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. We recommend that you:
- Brush 3 times a day, preferably after meals
- Clean around your brackets and wires thoroughly
- Floss daily
- Rinse your teeth after cleaning them
- Watch what you eat — Some foods can cause damage to braces and increase your risk of cavities
Our orthodontists and team in Virginia will be happy to help you learn the best ways to brush and floss while wearing braces.
Tips on Keeping Your Teeth Clean While Wearing Braces/Orthodontics
Flossing your teeth with braces or other orthodontics is easier with the use of a floss threader. These make it easier to thread floss behind and between your wires so you can effectively floss between all of your teeth. It’s essentially to floss gently when you have braces.
If you are an Invisalign patient, you will not need to change your diet for treatment, as the aligners can be removed when eating.
If you have traditional wire-and-bracket braces, it is recommended that you avoid the following during the course of your treatment:
- Very chewy foods like hard rolls, bagels, licorice and others.
- Hard and crunchy foods such as popcorn, nuts, hard pretzels and ice. It is also recommended in your daily life without braces that you avoid chewing ice, as it is likely to chip or crack teeth.
- Sticky foods and treats like caramel, gum, taffy and others.
- Overly sugary foods. Though this is typically recommended by oral health professionals in normal times, when braces are involved, it can have the added effect of causing uneven staining and decay, leading to unsightly white spots and other dental problems.
- Foods that require you to bite pieces off, like corn on the cob, apples and others. (If you can prepare these foods in such a way that they do not require you to bite
True orthodontic emergencies are, thankfully, rare. If something occurs, we’re here for you. Some emergency situations may include infection, swelling, and/or bleeding of the gums or mouth. Severe, unmanageable mouth pain may also be an emergency. If an appliance breaks, give us a call as soon as possible so we can fix it and prevent any lasting damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
How frequently you’ll visit our office depends upon your particular treatment plan. Some treatments have flexible scheduling that we schedule to your convenience. Others are more regularly scheduled for every couple of months.
Orthodontics is a field of dental specialty which focuses on diagnosing, preventing and treating dental and facial irregularities, usually those involving misaligned teeth and jaws. Orthodontists are dentists who have completed two to three years of additional specialty training in order to address these concerns and help patients straighten their teeth, correct misaligned jaws and resolve related problems.
There are a variety of orthodontic treatments available, ranging from traditional metal braces to ceramic (clear) braces and clear aligners. Our orthodontists will discuss your treatment options with you to help you find the type of orthodontic treatment that will be most effective and work with your lifestyle.