Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene Tips For Braces Invisalign

So you have your braces and all that stands between you and your new smile is time. However, if you want to make sure that new smile looks healthy and radiant, you need to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine. With braces, the brackets, wires, and bands make it easy for food particles and bacteria to get trapped in your teeth while making it more difficult to clean them away. If these particles and bacteria remain, it can quickly transform into harmful plaque that will damage your teeth.

At Scott Orthodontics, creating beautiful, new smiles for the families of Silver Spring, Mitchellville, and the surrounding communities is what we do best. As your local experts in orthodontics and oral health, we’re here for you through every step of your treatment to ensure that you have the best smile possible.  That’s why we’ve put together this guide about how to have the perfect oral hygiene routine while you’re wearing your braces.  If you have Invisalign, you can check out our section on how to clean your removable appliances as well!

How To Brush Your Teeth With Braces

Even if you’re used to brushing your teeth every day before you got your braces, it’s now even more important that you brush thoroughly to get between all of those new hiding places where food particles can accumulate. Use small, circular motions as your move your brush along the top and bottom teeth, both back and front.  At Scott Orthodontics, we recommend that you brush your teeth four times a day while you wear your braces.brush1

  • In the morning after breakfast

  • After lunch or right after school

  • After dinner

  • At bedtime

You may also notice that when you brush your teeth while wearing braces, your toothbrush may wear down much faster. Once you notice that the bristles are bending or damages, invest in a new toothbrush so you can continue getting a thorough clean.

How To Floss With Braces

Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces, but it is important to floss your teeth every day. It may seem difficult at first due to the archwire being in the way, so to make it a bit easier you can use a floss threader. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader, and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. Just be careful when flossing around your archwire to not put too much pressure on it, since you can possibly bend or damage it.  


Do your best to floss each time your brush you teeth to establish a healthier oral hygiene routine. However, if you’re having trouble remembering to floss throughout the day, at least floss before you go to bed so those food particles a

nd bacteria don’t eat away at your teeth overnight.

Using an Interdental Toothbrush

An interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush is used to clean underneath and around your archwires and braces. You can get these from the store, or ask us Scott Orthodontics at your appointment. These brushes use a small wire and soft bristles, and are designed to help cleaning around braces, so you can use this to avoid damages the archwires of your braces.  

Rinsing with an Antibacterial Mouthwash

Especially in the first few days of having your braces, you may notice some irritation or inflammation to your gums and cheeks as you adjust to them. To reduce this irritation and inflammation we suggest using a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse. This rinse will help prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces.


Rinse with mouthwash after every time you brush to ensure a thoroughly clean smile. Just use two teaspoons of the hydrogen peroxide rinse for one minute, and then spit it out. Just like using peroxide for a scrape on your skin, this hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse helps 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.

Topical Fluoride For Stronger Teeth

When harmful plaque and bacteria eat away at your teeth, you’re losing essential minerals that make your teeth more vulnerable to further decay. When fluoride is applied to your teeth, it restores those essential minerals in your teeth, clears away bacteria, and protects your teeth from future damage.


We recommend using a sodium fluoride gel to help prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces, strengthening your teeth so you can have a perfectly healthy smile once you get them off. Using a fluoride gel does not replace daily brushing and flossing, but it should be applied following your daily schedule at bedtime. All you have to do is place a small strip of the gel on a toothbrush, apply it to your teeth for one minute, and spit it out. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes afterward, since it is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for those full 30 minutes

Cleaning Your Removable Invisalign Tray Or Retainer

When you have a removable orthodontic appliance such an Invisalign aligner or retainer, it crucial to clean the appliance every day to protect your smile.  This is because food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just as they do on your teeth, and when you put the appliance back on, those particles are pressed up against your teeth which can accelerate tooth decay

To clean your appliance just dissolve a denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature, and soak your appliance at least once a day. For Invisalign aligners, you can also lightly brush your aligner with some toothpaste and your toothbrush every time you brush your teeth.

Contact Scott Orthodontics Today!

If you have any questions about maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine so you can have that perfect smile when you get your braces off, just contact us at Scott Orthodontics and we’ll help you out. Our promise to the communities of Silver Spring & Mitchellville is that we will provide the highest quality, professional orthodontic service that you and your family deserve. For the smile you’ve always wanted, schedule an appointment with us today! We look forward to creating a future full of bright and healthy smiles with you!