Brushing and Flossing

Healthy Teeth and Gums During Treatment

When you have braces, it's very important to brush after every meal or snacks in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. You will also need to floss before bedtime as usual.

Our team at Van Westen Orthodontics will help you with individualized instructions when you get your appliance. We will help you choose the right toothbrush (manual or electric), toothpaste, and dental floss.

Visiting the dentist during orthodontic treatment

It is very important that you continue to visit your family dentist once every six months, especially during your orthodontic treatment, for teeth cleanings and routine dental checkups. If extra dental care is needed, we will be happy to coordinate appointments with your family dentist.

Brushing with Braces

Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. As an alternative, you can use a powered toothbrush to increase your brushing effectiveness. Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.

brushing with braces

Flossing with Braces

Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which will also help keep your treatment time on track. To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire. Wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of taught floss between them. Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back and forth motion. Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth. If you find that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, ask us about a water flosser!

flossing with braces

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