Oral Hygiene

Great hygiene matters

Now that your braces are in place, it’s important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen. Braces, wires, bands and retainers can trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Careful brushing and flossing after every meal and snack, is the best way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay and gum disease

Brushing while wearing Braces

brush3.pngBrush your teeth four times daily to avoid accumulation of food particles in your teeth and braces:

  • In the morning after breakfast
  • After lunch or right after school
  • After dinner
  • At bedtime

Flossing while wearing braces


Flossing takes more time when wearing braces, but it is important to floss your teeth every day. We recommend flossing at night so your teeth are clean before you go to bed.

Use a reusable floss threader to floss under your archwire. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader, and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. Use care around your archwire, and do not floss too forcefully or put too much pressure on it.

Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash

rinse.jpgTo reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks, use a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse. This will help prevent infection and decrease irritation from your braces. Rinse your mouth with two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide rinse for one minute, and then spit it out. Use up to four times daily following brushing. Just like using peroxide on your skin, hydrogen peroxide mouth rinses the inside of your mouth heal. It can be used for general irritation caused by your braces or for canker sores, cheek bites and other minor injuries to the gums.

Using an interdental toothbrush

interdental.pngAn interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush is used to clean underneath and around your archwires and braces. Use the interdental toothbrush gently to avoid damaging your wires.

Topical fluoride

brush1.pngUse a sodium fluoride gel to prevent tooth decay while wearing braces. This gel kills bacteria and replaces minerals in the tooth enamel that have been removed by harmful acids. Using gel does not replace brushing and flossing and should be applied following your daily schedule at bedtime. Place a small strip of gel on a toothbrush, and apply to your teeth for one minute. Then spit it out. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes afterward. It is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes.

Cleaning your removable appliance

retainer.jpgBrush your removable appliance every day as a part of your brushing and flossing schedule. Because food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance, soak it daily. Dissolve a denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature, and soak it once a day.