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Essential Oral Hygiene Tips for Braces

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Table of Contents
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Braces are for your good and you choose them to boost yourself of course. But mistakes made in keeping up your oral hygiene with braces on can affect your oral health. So, let’s have a look at all possible oral hygiene tips for braces you can need for your oral hygiene with braces.

The Importance of Oral Hygiene with Braces

Braces are generally an orthodontic device designed to align your misaligned teeth and jaw. 

These braces works by putting prolonged pressure on misaligned teeth over time. The teeth move slowly into the desired position, allowing them to do so. Besides, straightened teeth improve the smile and therefore save a few dental problems. You speak and chew better than you could before using them.

Unique Challenges Braces Present for Oral Hygiene

You know the benefits though braces have some challenges waiting for you. Some of these are:

  • More of your food remains stuck on the wires and brackets of your braces, which in turn can cause cavities. 
  • You would find it difficult to brush your teeth, brackets, and wires due to the braces that you wear. 
  • It can be an irritation to your gums and might direct you towards inflammation or swelling. 
  • Also because of poor oral hygiene, you might get the decalcification of white spots on your teeth.

Daily Oral Hygiene Tips for Braces

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Having a daily oral routine is one of the best oral hygiene tips for braces. Here is the daily routine to follow:


How often to brush: 

It is recommended to brush one’s teeth after every meal, without fail, while wearing orthodontic appliances.


  • You have to use a soft-bristled brush that proves to be gentle on your teeth and gums throughout the brushing process. 
  • No reluctance to use an electric toothbrush, as that is effective in resisting plaque removal from your teeth. 
  • Brush at an angulation of 45 degrees, getting closer to the wires and brackets of your braces.

Tips for Thorough Cleaning

  • For effective cleaning, brush no less than for the period of two minutes every time. 
  • You can divide your mouth into four parts: the upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left parts. This will help guarantee enough time to clean each section of your mouth. 
  • Brush around braces to keep plaque off your teeth. 
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria for a fresh, clean mouth with fresh breath.


Simply brushing is not enough to rescue one from the grappling hands of the bacteria lurking within the oral cavity; hence, flossing is a proper and essential oral hygiene exercise. Flossing is generally the removal of food particles between your teeth by using a floss.


  • Floss threaders are designed to assist in threading the floss under the main wires of the braces.
  • Orthodontic floss is normally designed with one end that is sturdy and can be easily manoeuvred under the wire of your braces.
  • Water flossers require nothing more than just a stream of water to flush out all of the food grains and plaques from between teeth and around braces.

Using Floss

  • Start by threading floss with a floss threader or orthodontic floss and pull it right under the wire.
  • Rinse the floss and hold it between the teeth, moving it in and out and up and down along one side of each tooth.
  • Do this precariously for each tooth with a new floss area as you move along.
  • Aim the water stream from the flosser directly at the gum line and areas around your braces.


A fluoride toothpaste contains an addition of fluoride in the mouthwash, which is beneficial for getting the tooth enamel strengthened and making it hard so that its resistance to decay is much stronger.

As well, if you have been using fluoride mouthwash, this also implies that the chances of getting cavities are minimized.

Antimicrobial Rinses

Antimicrobial rinses are liquid solutions. And are truly helpful in lowering the deposition of bacteria and plaques in the mouth, hence ideally reducing the risks of getting cavities.

Antimicrobial rinses, of course, benefit people with braces because they can easily target areas that may otherwise be missed by a toothbrush and floss.

Special Tools and Products

Along with brushing, flossing, and rinsing, there are special tools that can be found on the market that would further facilitate one’s ability to offer a great deal over and above his or her normal oral care routine for braces. 

These include:

Interdental Brushes

These small and cylindrical brushes are designed to clean between teeth and around braces, are available in sizes to fit your braces, and also available in many sizes.

You use these by gently working them in between your teeth around the brackets and wire. Run it in a back-and-forth motion to dislodge food and plaque. Implement these in addition to any regular flossing.

Advantages Over Traditional Floss

  • Interdental brushes are easy to use around braces when compared to traditional floss, especially for people who find keeping good oral hygiene with braces challenging. 
  • These brushes can effectively clean the places even between the little gaps and spaces around the wires of your braces that your regular floss might miss. 
  • Besides, these brushes are portable, so you can use them promptly after your meals in the course of the day.

Orthodontic Wax

These are paraffin wax based dental wax. Orthodontic Wax prevents sores caused by brackets and wires. It works as a barrier between your braces and the soft tissues in your mouth. This can take the pain away from sharp or poking parts of your braces almost immediately.

Application Instructions

  • First and foremost, wash your hands before you put the bacteria into your mouth. 
  • Break off and roll into a ball using your fingers a piece of wax that is pea-sized. 
  • Wipe the part of your braces where you are going to apply it with a dry cloth beforehand. 
  • Mold the wax on the brackets or wire, and over the area as discomfort is felt. 
  • Smooth and flatten the edges, sticking them securely.
  • Remove denture wax before meals and replace it as necessary after meals.

Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. It is responsible for making the tooth more resistant to any acid attack from bacteria on sugars in the mouth. 

Do not use whitening toothpaste or mouthwash. This can result in partial discoloration of the teeth. Partial discoloration occurs when whitening agents are not completely attached to cover the entire tooth surface.

Diet and Habits

Here are the diet and habits to follow:

Foods to Avoid

Our diet and the food we consume also have an effect on our oral health. And some of them can worsen. Let’s list the foods you need to avoid with braces:

  • Hard foods like nuts, hard candies, ice, popcorn kernels, and raw vegetables should not be consumed. Such foods can break braces, leading to broken wires.
  • Stay away from sticky foods, such as chewing gum, caramel, toffees, and gummy candies. They get hooked, harden within the braces, and cause some difficulty to take out. 
  • Also, try to avoid crunchy foods, like chips and pretzels. These too can smash your braces if you bite into them wrong. 
  • Don’t consume high-quality, sweet, sugary drinks. Foods and beverages that are high in sugars can result in the production of bacteria that will dissolve the enamel of the teeth, causing white spots around the brackets.
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Healthy Alternatives

If you take the said food above, then there is an alternative of what you can eat instead of it.

  • Eat soft fruits, such as a banana, berries, and peaches, which will be less likely to ruin the braces and easier to chew.
  • Eat steamed or boiled carrots, broccoli, and spinach. Cooking vegetables will help the vegetables be softened and friendlier to the braces.
  • You shall eat some cheese, which has sufficient calcium and casein to help in the process of tooth remineralization(natural repair of tooth)  and re-building enamel(outer covering of your tooth).
  • Taking milk and yogurt is a very good supply of calcium and vitamin D, which are very important in the development of strong teeth and bones.

Good Habits to Develop

Drink more water for a clean mouth. Chew sugarless gum. This will stimulate saliva. The use of saliva helps in cleaning away food particles and neutralizing acids.

How do you keep your mouth fresh with braces?

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With braces, sure you get to keep your mouth alright, but at the same time, you get to keep these challenges. 

Therefore, you can adopt these 5 tips for bad breath, even with braces:

  • Brush and floss daily.
  • A fluoride or antimicrobial mouth rinse may also be used.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Reduce treats and sugary drinks.
  • Schedule a dental visit for routine checkups and cleanings.

Is mouthwash necessary for braces?

Yes, mouthwash can be especially beneficial to you if you happen to be wearing braces.

You probably never have enough time to brush adequately. 

Normally, your brush doesn’t reach the spaces around the wires of your braces, but mouthwash will get into these areas and ensure a complete cleaning.

Additionally, you use mouthwash daily; you may have minty breath. Mouthwash can help in killing the bacteria that cause the smell and leave your mouth minty clean.

Managing Discomfort and Emergencies

Common Issues

 Eat soft foods and take over-the-counter medicines if necessary to manage soreness after adjustments. 

If you feel you have loose brackets or wires, call your orthodontist to schedule a repair appointment.

Home Remedies

Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in warm water and gargle with it to reduce irritation and pain.

You can buy over-the-counter pain relief for any discomfort you might have after adjustments or minor irritation.

When to Call Your Orthodontist

If at any point you notice swelling, redness, or pain that you feel is abnormal, you should call your orthodontist.

Also, if a bracket or wire should break and be painful or could potentially be damaging to your mouth, call your orthodontist for emergency repairs.

Regular Checkups and Professional Cleanings

Frequency of Orthodontic Visits

Every 4-8 weeks, this may require you to visit in order to make necessary changes and to keep the overall progress of the treatment on course.

Professional Cleanings

Professional cleaning is also needed from time to time to remove all the plaque and tartar that cannot be cleaned by regular brushing with braces, as this helps prevent cavities and gum disease.


In simple terms, when you’re wearing braces, you have an additional responsibility for your oral hygiene. For the same, your oral routine should have three steps—brushing, flossing, and rinsing. All the more simplifies the process if you have an application of special tools and products other than making some meagre changes in your diet and an application of mouthwash. Just smile away

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