Brushing and Flossing with Braces

Posted on: August 1, 2020

braces St Peters, MO

Brushing and flossing regularly is important to maintaining good oral health. If you have braces, it is very important that you brush and floss regularly, because the metal brackets in your mouth get more food particles stuck in them than your teeth do when you do not have braces.

Food particles left in the metal brackets decay and leave you with bad breath and tooth decay. The food and beverages you consume also stain your teeth. Even though the braces make it more difficult to clean your teeth, you can still maintain proper oral hygiene using these tips.

Tips for cleaning braces

Use proper tools

When you have braces, you cannot brush your teeth with the same toothbrush you used before you got the braces because that toothbrush was designed for regular teeth, and it will not be able to reach the tight spots created by braces. Instead of using a regular toothbrush, you should use a brush designed to clean teeth with braces, like an interdental toothbrush, which has small bristles that can clean the areas that are not covered by braces and the metal brackets as well.

You can also clean your teeth with an oral irrigator, which shoots water at your teeth and is useful when it comes to dislodging the food particles that get stuck in your brackets. Since the irrigator only shoots pressurized water, you should brush your teeth with the interdental toothbrush before using it.

Dentists recommend using electric toothbrushes when you have braces in your mouth because the toothbrush head is smaller than a regular toothbrush and can clean the exposed parts of your teeth without a lot of fuss. Electric toothbrushes can also oscillate at a slow speed, providing you with comfort while you brush your teeth.

Flossing between your teeth

Flossing is a little trickier when you have braces because you have to navigate above and below the metal brackets to remove food particles stuck in your teeth. To make the process easier, dentists recommend using a floss threader because it makes it easier to get to the hard-to-reach parts.

Using a floss threader can be compared to threading a needle because you have to put one end of the floss through the threader before grabbing the other end to clean between your teeth. Dentists also recommend using waxed floss when you have braces because it glides through your teeth much easier than unwaxed floss.

Make regular visits to your dentist

Even though you can clean your teeth with braces, you cannot clean them as well as you would like. To get your teeth as clean as possible with braces on, schedule regular checkups with your dentist so they can check the progress of your teeth and give you a thorough cleaning before you leave.


Having braces in your mouth makes it difficult to brush and floss as well as you would like. If you have braces and are having trouble brushing your teeth, talk to your dentist to find out more about how to properly take care of your teeth when you have braces.

Request an appointment here: or call Kling Orthodontics at (636) 660-0525 for an appointment in our St Peters office.

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