Best Ways to Clean with Braces

When you get new braces, oral hygiene is an important part of caring for your teeth. When you got your braces, our technician explained the best ways to clean with braces. Likely you were tired, slightly stressed, and may have had some discomfort from the placement of your braces. We understand you may not have been paying complete attention to those lessons and that’s okay.

Why It is Important to Learn to Clean with Braces

We feel that it is important to understand how and why you should take care of your teeth while wearing braces. The purpose of braces is to straighten your smile. We may be closing gaps between your teeth or easing some overcrowding issues. Whatever the reason for your braces, the end result is for you to have a great smile.

To attach braces, the orthodontist mounts small brackets on your teeth. The brackets provide anchoring points for archwires. The wires create tension to shift your teeth into new positions. Archwires are held in place by small elastic bands.

Because of the brackets and archwires used to shift your teeth into better positions, brushing and flossing become more difficult. Food particles can get trapped beneath the archwires and cause tooth decay. Damage to the wires can also be caused by aggressive brushing and improper flossing.

In order to protect the investment in your future smile, learning the proper way to care for your teeth and your braces during treatment is very important. It is also important to understand when an emergency exists with your new braces. If you have questions or are unsure about anything please do not hesitate to contact Holt Orthodontics. Our knowledgeable staff can answer your questions or verbally guide you through self-help.

Tips and Tricks to Clean Around Your Braces

You’ve been brushing your teeth for your entire life. Braces do make that task a bit more difficult. Learning to navigate the new obstructions (braces) on your teeth can be tricky, but you’ll be a pro in no time. The video below shows the processes we are describing.


Make sure to hit all angles of your teeth
Angle the bristles at a 45-degree angle while brushing
Be sure to brush above and below the wires and brackets
Brush the wires and brackets (gently to avoid damaging them)
Use an archwire brush to brush under the wires between brackets
Swish with water or mouthwash whenever you can


Thread floss under the archwires
Use a floss threader if needed
Floss at least once a day

Using Wax:

Use a pea-sized ball of wax, pressed onto a dry area to provide protection
Wax can lessen minor irritation caused by brackets and wires

This video shows the correct techniques for cleaning with braces:

Contact Holt Orthodontics if You Still Have Questions

If you still have questions about taking care of your braces, please don’t hesitate to contact Holt Orthodontics. Our staff is always happy to help. We have an online chat feature on our website, or you can text or call us at any of our four locations:

Roseville: (916) 586-7424
Sacramento: (916) 619-2989
Folsom: (916) 245-7181
Rocklin: (916) 435-8000

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