Brushing and flossing with Braces

Expert Treatment From Your Bowie Orthodontist

At Scott Orthodontics, we're committed to helping our patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles that last a lifetime. As your trusted Bowie orthodontist, Dr. Scott and his friendly staff are proud to specialize in a wide range of orthodontic treatments, such as Bowie Invisalign, braces, and more—for patients of all ages.

We want all of our patients to know that a healthy smile doesn’t come from our expert treatments alone—it relies just as much on what you do at home. Regular brushing and flossing are two of the most important things you can do to care for your smile. Keep reading to learn how to brush and floss with braces.

Brushing with Braces

You already know how important it is to practice good brushing and flossing every day—but these simple tasks can be a bit more difficult with braces.

To thoroughly clean your teeth and gums, your Bowie orthodontist recommends using a soft-bristled or bi-level toothbrush for brushing. An electric toothbrush can also work well, as long as you're careful to keep it on a moderate setting and not hit the back of the brush against your braces.

Brush at least four times a day, for two minutes each time: once after breakfast, once after lunch, once after dinner, and once before bed.

When brushing, use small, circular motions to brush every tooth surface, lifting away plaque and polishing them clean. Try to angle the brush to also clean under and behind brackets, and don't forget to brush the inside of the teeth as well as the outside.

Special Brushing Tools

To help you thoroughly clean your mouth after visiting your Bowie Orthodontist, there are several tools that can make things easier. These include:

Interdental Brush

This small, pine-tree shaped brush can be a lifesaver for patients with Bowie braces. It's great for getting under the archwire and knocking out bits of food that have become lodged in the teeth or braces.

Water Pick

A water pick is a device that shoots a thin, pressurized jet of water at the teeth to dislodge trapped bits of food. This oral tool is easy to use and helpful in a pinch, but it's no substitute for brushing or flossing—so think of it as a supplement to your regular routine.

Flossing with Braces

Flossing with braces can be more inconvenient - but it's still definitely doable. A floss threader, which is a small plastic loop with one long end, is your best friend. To use it, just thread the floss through the eye of the loop, then use the long end to feed the floss threader under the archwire. Pull the threader to get the floss underneath the archwire, then floss your teeth normally. Repeat the process for all teeth, and you're done!

Is It Working?

How can you tell if your oral hygiene practices are working? It turns out there's an easy way. Special vegetable dyes called "disclosing solutions" or "disclosing tablets" dissolve in your mouth and release a safe, tasteless dye, which lights up hidden deposits of plaque and food. This allows you to easily see what's clean and where you need to do a little more work, making it easy to remove the dyed spots and comprehensively clean your whole mouth.

Contact Your Bowie Orthodontist

By practicing a diligent oral hygiene routine at home, and receiving expert orthodontic care from your Bowie orthodontist, you're well on your way to achieving the beautiful, healthy smile you've always dreamed of! If you have questions along the way, or want to know more about Bowie Invisalign or braces, contact us today, or request a consultation online. We can't wait to hear from you!