How to Keep Braces Clean?

Braces can be a hassle when it comes to brushing and flossing. But, you still want to make sure you cleaning them correctly, or it could have unfavorable results. Plaque buildup can damage teeth and braces provide several areas for plaque collection. When you get those braces off, you want to see straight, beautiful teeth. But, cleaning improperly with braces can cause white spots or other damage to your teeth.


Brushing seems simple enough, but the idea of brushing thoroughly changes as soon as you get those brackets on your teeth. Braces bring a whole new world of brushing angles and toothbrushes. You may even want to ask your orthodontist or dentist what they recommend for brushing with braces.

apgd-781First, put your usual toothpaste on your toothbrush. If you have whitening toothpaste and are worried about its effects with braces, don’t fret. Whitening toothpaste isn’t actually as effective as you might think. If there ends up being a little whitening anyway, you can easily even out the color of your teeth with some kind of whitening treatment.
apgd-792When brushing your teeth with braces, first brush like you normally would with circular motions and brush the back of your teeth.
apgd-803Next, angle your toothbrush to brush over the brackets to make sure you’re scraping the plaque from those sneaky little spots. Angle your toothbrush to brush under the brackets as well to get every little bit.
apgd-814Check your teeth. If it looks or feels like you missed a spot, you probably have. Brush whatever areas you might have missed and rinse your mouth out.

apgd-82Orthodontists will often provide proxy brushes, which look like a tiny section of pipe cleaner that’s shaped like a Christmas tree. These are handy for getting in between your brackets and behind the wires of your braces. Use these when you can to be sure you’re getting every spot.


Flossing can sometimes be a hassle with braces. But, to be certain you’re caring for your teeth properly, it has to be done. The only real problem is threading the floss behind the wires, but there are a couple different products that help make the process easier.

apgd-831If your orthodontist has provided you with stiffer floss, usually waxed floss, merely thread the floss between brackets and behind the wire. Floss like you would normally and continue to do so with each tooth.
apgd-842Sometimes, orthodontists will provide you with floss threaders, which look like flexible, plastic sewing needles. Slip some floss in the loop of the threader, thread the floss behind the wire and floss your teeth like usual. Continue to do so with each tooth.

apgd-85If you’d like, you can finish off your flossing and brushing with a swish of mouthwash, but it’s up to you. Just be sure you’re flossing every tooth and not just the front teeth.


1If you braces are poking or damaging the inside of your mouth, there could be something wrong. The inside of your mouth, especially the back, should not be getting damaged, so visit your orthodontist if you’re feeling anything poking or tearing in your mouth.
2Should you be feeling some sort of scraping from your brackets, orthodontists provide wax to apply to the brackets to keep them smooth. This kind of discomfort is normal for people that have just gotten braces, as your mouth may not be used to the presence of brackets on your teeth.
3After getting your braces tightened, you will probably feel some pain for about a week or two. You could take a simple pain killer to alleviate pain, or drink hot liquids to relieve any swelling.