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If you are wearing braces to correct your tooth and bite alignment, now more than ever, you need to take optimal care of your teeth and gums. Braces can get in the way of normal oral cleaning tools when brushing and flossing, making it harder to remove stray food particles and bacterial debris from your teeth and gums.

Consistent Oral Hygiene

We tell our patients to make cleaning their mouths a top priority so that when their braces come off, their teeth will look, feel, and function better than ever. Thanks to continuing technological advances, there are more effective oral hygiene tools than ever to protect your smile! One of these involves flossing, as normal flossing tools might have trouble cleaning around wires, bands, and brackets.

Thankfully, you can still effectively care for your smile while undergoing orthodontic treatment in braces with the help of a water flosser! A water flosser (or oral irrigator) can easily clean around teeth and gums, so they stay healthier and pain-free. Flossers emit a pressurized jet (or pulse of water) that removes much of the hassle of maneuvering dental floss or flossing picks around orthodontic hardware. That’s an extra motivational boost you’ll appreciate while straightening your teeth!

It’s important to note that brushing and flossing need to be completed diligently while wearing braces. It means brushing and flossing after every meal so nothing stays trapped in the hardware or the surfaces between teeth. Cleaning behind the wires and areas between brackets is essential for a thorough cleaning. If your flossing tools are hard to use, you’ll probably be more tempted to skip flossing altogether, and over time, that’s bad news for your mouth.

Brushing and Flossing Between Braces Hardware

While a normal toothbrush can do the job, using a sonic toothbrush can make the job easier for you. Sonic toothbrushes have vibrating brush heads that expertly clear away bacterial plaque and food particles from your braces hardware, so brush after each meal or snack you consume.

Tip: If you’re away from home and can’t brush right after eating, use water to rinse your mouth well and clear out some of that oral debris.

Why go to all this effort when wearing braces? To keep your mouth free from dental problems like these:

  • Bad breath
  • Cavities
  • Gum disease
  • White spots on teeth
  • Yellow or brown stained teeth

Using Your Waterpik

Waterpiks are the most popular water flossers on the market. They spray water to flush out food particles and often have an orthodontic tip that works perfectly to clean braces. This tapered brush is made clean the hard-to-reach dental plaque around braces’ brackets and wires. It makes short work of food particles and germs from under and around your teeth.

It’s pretty easy to use a Waterpik to clean your teeth in braces. After you fill the device’s water tank with warm (not hot) water, bend over the sink while angling the water flosser at your gumline. Then turn the flosser on and gently move the flossing tip around your gum line and clean between each tooth. Close your lips around the flosser while cleaning so you don’t splash water everywhere. That’s pretty much how easy and quick flossing can be with a Waterpik!

We encourage you to make your oral hygiene routine as easy and effective as possible while straightening your pearly whites. You can even boost your daily habits by using fluoridated toothpaste or fluoride rinse to keep cavities away. Before you know it, your braces will come off, and your teeth will look better than ever!