Braces and Dental Hygiene

Braces are an effective treatment for correcting the alignment of your teeth and jaws. However, with brackets bonded to the fronts of your teeth throughout the duration of your treatment and wires connecting each one, maintaining good oral hygiene can be difficult. Fortunately, it is not impossible and Sawrie Orthodontics is here to help.

The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene and Braces

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial when you are wearing braces. Neglecting your oral care routine can significantly increase your risk of developing cavities and gum disease. If these issues do arise, they can delay your orthodontic treatment, leading to more time in braces. Additionally, if you are lax in your oral care, it can lead to decalcification of your teeth. Decalcification shows up as small, permanent white scars on the surface of your enamel. Remember to keep seeing your general dentist every six months for regular cleanings and exams.

Tools for Good Dental Hygiene

Taking care of your braces does require a bit more work. Brackets and wires can be difficult to maneuver around, but there are plenty of tools available to help you effectively get the job done. Tools for good dental hygiene while wearing braces include:

  • A soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • An interdental brush, which can help to clean out underwires and along brackets.
  • Interproximal brushes, which can be used to clean between gaps in your teeth.
  • Floss and threaders. Getting floss under your wires can be difficult, but a floss threader helps to facilitate the process.
  • A mirror.


In addition to brushing in the morning and before you go to bed, you should also brush after each meal. Begin your oral care with an interdental brush. Clear away larger bits of food and other debris from under the wires between each bracket. After you have cleaned between each bracket, then move on to your regular toothbrush. Just like with your regular oral hygiene routine, you should brush for two full minutes. Angle your toothbrush so that it is better able to access all areas around your brackets. Use gentle, circular motions and spend several seconds on each tooth. Change your toothbrush as the bristles begin to fray, which may need to be done more often with braces.


Flossing should still be done at least once a day. Use the floss threader to get the floss behind the wire between each bracket. Gently work the floss between your teeth and scrape up and down the sides of each tooth. You should also floss around the brackets and the wires. Do not forget to floss behind your very back teeth as well. After flossing, rinse out your mouth.

Check Your Smile

After you have finished cleaning your teeth and your braces, use a mirror to take a close look at your mouth. This step is critical. Check to make sure that you have gotten everything out from between your braces. This will help to ensure that your smile stays beautiful during your orthodontic treatment. Maintaining good dental hygiene is important any time, but it is especially important when you are wearing braces. If you have any questions or concerns about your dental hygiene during your treatment, call Sawrie Orthodontics today at (423) 624-8217.