How To Brush and Floss with Braces

A young female wearing braces holds two different types of a toothbrush

Are you one of the millions of people who wear braces? If you answered yes, you know it can be a struggle to brush and floss with braces and keep your teeth healthy.

Well, look no further! This blog will show you how to brush and floss with braces like a pro.

Brushing and flossing with braces can be tricky, but it’s crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing tooth decay.

With some knowledge and practice, you can keep your teeth and braces clean and healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment.

So, let’s get started on the path to a healthier, brighter smile! Here’s our guide on how to brush and floss with braces, keeping your teeth and your braces in great condition.

Brushing with braces

You should brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily (preferably after meals) for at least two minutes each time.

Remember to brush all of the tooth surfaces: the front, the back, and the chewing surfaces as well.

Be careful to clean the areas between wires, teeth, brackets, and gums — food particles can easily become trapped.

Get started

First, you want to remove all your braces’ removable parts, such as bands.

Clean your braces

Carefully clean around wires and pins. Braces require a specialized toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. This allows you to reach tight spaces between the brackets and wires.

Brush each wire

Move top to bottom and around the upper and lower teeth. An interdental brush or proxabrush (pictured above) can clean between the wires and brackets.

Brush your teeth

Webster Orthodontics recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice daily, which means each quadrant of your mouth gets 30 seconds. As you brush, clean all areas of the tooth. Some people find they get the best clean going tooth by tooth.

Rinse, and then check your teeth

Rinse thoroughly. Examine teeth and braces in the mirror, and remember to look for any remaining food particles.

Flossing with braces

Although flossing with braces is tricky, you will soon get the hang of it with practice. You can use a floss threader to insert the floss between the wires and brackets.

Floss once a day

Use waxed floss and thread it carefully under the main wire before passing between two teeth. Move up and down gently, remove it, and move on to the next pair of teeth.

Use enough floss

About 18 inches of floss should be enough.

Thread it carefully

Take the floss and carefully thread it under the main wire of the braces before passing it between two teeth. Repeat this for each pair of teeth.

Flossing routine

Choose the right floss

Look for a floss specifically designed for braces. These types of floss have a stiff end that makes it easier to thread the floss under the wires of your braces.

Thread the floss

Take a long piece of floss and thread it under the main wire of your braces. Pull the floss through until you have an equal amount on both sides.

Floss between your teeth

Hold the floss between your thumbs and index fingers and gently guide it between your teeth. Be careful not to snap the floss against your braces.

Move the floss

Once the floss is between your teeth, move it up and down in a sawing motion. Make sure to get the floss all the way down to your gumline.

Use a new section of floss

After flossing between your teeth, use a new section of floss and repeat the process for the next set of teeth.

Rinse and check

After flossing, rinse your mouth with water or antimicrobial mouthwash to help kill bacteria. A thorough rinsing will help remove any remaining food particles. Check your teeth and braces in a mirror to ensure they are clean.

Final thoughts

Congratulations, you’re now a pro at brushing and flossing with braces!

Following these tips and making oral hygiene a daily habit can keep your teeth and braces clean and healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Keep up the excellent work, and keep on smiling!

Schedule an appointment or call us today to learn more about brushing and flossing with braces.


Hillcrest Orthodontics has locations in Mobile and Brewton, AL, and welcomes patients from neighboring communities.

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