How to Brush Correctly with Braces

Good dental hygiene is always important, especially while in orthodontic treatment. Braces are a wonderful way to correct misaligned teeth and correct a “bad bite” as well as relieve jaw pain associated with TMJ disorders. However, if extra measures are not taken to keep the teeth clean while in treatment, the disadvantages may start to outweigh the advantages of treatment. Brackets and arch wires will collect food. If plaque is left on the teeth for extended periods of time decalcification spots will develop. These bright white spots and the beginning stages of a cavity and are permanent. However, by brushing correctly and adequately a great, beautiful result can be achieved!

Step 1: First off, wet the bristles of your toothbrush and apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to the brush. Angle the brush so that the bristles are pointing up. Now, starting with your top teeth, place the brush so that the bristles touch the bottom edge of your brackets. Gently wiggle the brush back and forth all the way around, making sure that you get the very back teeth. The bristles of your brush should be getting underneath the archwire and removing trapped food. Do this for about 30 seconds.

Step 2:Now you want to keep the bristles at the same angle and brush your bottom teeth. Repeat the same method and make sure that while brushing the lower teeth that you are gently massaging your gums as you remove plaque and food. Continue all the way around with the brush still angled up.

Step 3: Next you will continue brushing the facial surfaces of you teeth, but now with the bristles angled down. Start back with the top teeth and wiggle the bristles gently about the brackets. Make sure that you gently massage the gums of your top teeth while you are brushing. Continue all the way around and then do the same for the bottom teeth.

Step 4: Now you can take your brush and point the bristles straight on, as you would normally brush, and go all around the top and bottom teeth. Move the bristles in slow, small cirles.

Step 5: Once you have brushed around all of the braces, you can finish by brushing the inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth as you normally would. Make sure to hold the brush in a light grip so that you do not brush too hard. Also be sure to pay special attention to your back teeth. They are a bit more difficult to keep clean because they are harder to reach.

Step 6: When you are finished, rinse thoroughly with water and don’t forget to brush your tongue! Always inspect your teeth in a mirror when you are finished to make sure you did a good job. It should take a good 3-4 minutes each time you brush.

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