Brushing & Flossing

Good oral hygiene is necessary to avoid inflammation of the gums and the development of decalcification marks on the enamel as shown in the photo to the right.

One of your most important responsibilities with braces is brushing and keeping the teeth and gums clean. Refer to the "Flossing and Brushing with Braces" laminated mirror-hanging card given to you when the braces were placed.

Hygiene Supplies

The teeth should be brushed three times per day – morning, mid-day, and before bedtime. Take your time! Brush for at least two minutes. Look in the mirror to make sure that all plaque, that white filmy stuff that builds up on the teeth, has been removed. Make sure that the braces are shiny.

Especially target your brushing at the gumline. The interproximal (cone shaped) brush, Stimudents, Butler gum picks can be used to clean under the wire. Clean the pointed part of the gums and the area of the tooth between the braces and gums.

You can floss using the floss threader or the Platypus flosser. Flossing takes time but is very beneficial to the gum health. Flossing is best after your night brushing, so that all plaque is removed before bedtime. Use the floss threader to drag the floss under the wire, then go in between the teeth with the floss.

After your night brushing, the fluoride rinse should be used. Take a mouthful of the rinse, swish for one minute, then spit the rinse in the sink. Do not eat, drink, or rinse with water after that. The fluoride acts to strengthen the teeth to protect them from cavities and decalcification marks. Additional bottles of the fluoride rinse can be obtained from our office.

The items provided to you at the time the braces are placed are samples and can be purchased as they wear out at most drug stores or grocery stores. We encourage you to develop a healthy dental hygiene routine.

With Invisalign®, remove the aligners and brush and floss normally. Clean your teeth and the aligners 3-4 times per day.

Remember to see your general dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings while you are in treatment.