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What are the best ways to clean your teeth with braces?

The day you get your braces placed feels like a whirlwind, our team will show you videos on caring for your braces and demonstrate how to clean like a pro around all those brackets and wires. On top of getting your mouth used to the feeling of your braces, you may have missed a few instructions or two or go home and find you can’t easily floss like we did. Hey, that’s normal! As you get used to caring and maintaining your braces, you’ll become a pro in no time.

So what are some of the best and simplest ways to clean your teeth with braces? Let’s dive in!

1. Floss like a boss: how to floss with braces

Let’s talk about the trickiest part of your oral hygiene routine for new braces wearers…flossing! We recommend having a few different flossing tools ready for your first time flossing with braces. You can give each one a try one night at a time like a little braces care advent calendar! Invest in the following flossing tools:


• Floss and floss threader

Orthodontic flossers

• Or a Waterpik® water flosser

No matter which flossing tool you choose, you’re going to follow the same basic route for flossing. Here’s how to floss with braces:

1. Take a piece of floss.

2. Thread the floss through the gap between your teeth and the archwire, where two teeth meet.

3. Pull the floss through and floss gently up and down between the teeth. Be careful not to pull downward with the floss, so you don’t pop your archwire out of place.

For more detailed instructions on each flossing method, check out our blog here.

2. Keep your braces cleaning kit stocked

Making sure you always have enough oral care products on deck to complete your oral hygiene routine is critical to keeping your braces and teeth in tip top shape! We recommend having a dedicated kit for at-home care and on-the-GO care so you never have to worry about packing up your braces tools (and you can grab products from your GO bag if you do run out at home). Stock your braces cleaning kits with the following essentials:

• soft-bristle toothbrush

• fluoride toothpaste

• Floss, Superfloss, and or floss threaders or ortho flossers

• An antibacterial fluoride mouthwash

• Orthodontic wax

• A compact mirror

Opt for travel-size containers of the essentials for your travel kit.

3. Attend your regular dental check-ups

Going to your family dentist for your bi-annual cleaning and check up is more important than ever! But how do dentists clean teeth with braces? Isn’t it difficult to get their tools around all those brackets and wires? Not to worry! Dental hygienists are certified and trained to clean teeth – from your crowns to your gum line. With braces, your cleaning may look a little different as they’ll use specialized instruments like ultrasonic scalers and air polishers to clean around your wires and remove plaque and stains.

4. Practice a strong oral hygiene routine daily

One of the best ways to clean your teeth with braces is to make sure you brush them after every meal. By consistently keeping them free of food debris and using a fluoride toothpaste, you’ll be taking away the opportunity for plaque to fester and grow. And don’t forget to brush your tongue and use an antibacterial fluoride mouthwash up to twice a day as well! By doing so, you’re giving yourself a whole mouth clean and refreshing your breath!

5. Try an interdental brush for your GO-to braces cleaning tooth tool

With some meals it can feel like your braces are covered in food. If you find yourself often with a toothbrush full of more food than toothpaste, try incorporating an interdental brush into your oral hygiene routine. These are small brushes that can easily get between your wires to remove food debris trapped behind your wires or around your brackets.

Looking for more tips for keeping your teeth clean with braces?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions about braces care or any of our treatment options such as Invisalign®.

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Lee County, MS or Tennessee, request a complimentary exam for you or your child with us today!


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