Fowler Orthodontics

How To Brush Your Teeth With Braces

Taking care of your teeth is always important, but it becomes even more crucial when you have braces. Braces provide the necessary correction to misaligned teeth, but they also create additional challenges when it comes to maintaining oral hygiene. However, with the right techniques and tools, you can ensure that your teeth stay healthy and your treatment progresses smoothly.

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of brushing your teeth with braces. We’ll discuss the common challenges you may encounter, the tools and supplies you’ll need, and provide a step-by-step guide to help you brush effectively. By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to keep your smile shining bright throughout your orthodontic journey. Let’s dive in!

Challenges of Brushing with Braces

Brushing your teeth with braces can pose some unique challenges due to the presence of wires, brackets, and other components. Here are some common challenges you may encounter:

  • Food Trapping: Braces create additional nooks and crannies where food particles can get trapped. This makes it easier for plaque to build up, leading to tooth decay and gum disease if not properly removed.
  • Access Difficulty: The wires and brackets of braces can make it difficult to reach all areas of your teeth. Getting between the wires and around the brackets requires extra care and precision to ensure thorough cleaning.
  • Sensitivity and Irritation: The metal components of braces may cause irritation to the gums and soft tissues in your mouth. Brushing too vigorously or using improper techniques can exacerbate this sensitivity.
  • Time Consuming: Properly cleaning braces can take more time than brushing without them. It requires patience and diligence to ensure that all surfaces are adequately cleaned.
  • Technique Adjustment: You may need to adjust your brushing technique to accommodate the braces. This may involve using different angles and motions to effectively clean around the brackets and wires.

Despite these challenges, with the right approach and tools, you can overcome them and maintain excellent oral hygiene throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Tools and Supplies Needed:

To effectively brush your teeth with braces, you’ll need the following tools and supplies:

  • Soft-Bristled Toothbrush: Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid irritating your gums and damaging the braces. Soft bristles are gentle yet effective at removing plaque and food particles.
  • Interdental Brush: These small, cone-shaped brushes are designed to clean between the wires and brackets of your braces. They can reach areas that regular toothbrushes may struggle to access, ensuring thorough cleaning.
  • Orthodontic Flosser: Orthodontic flossers have a stiff end that can be threaded under the wires of your braces, making it easier to floss between teeth. They are an essential tool for removing plaque and debris from hard-to-reach areas.
  • Fluoride Toothpaste: Choose a fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Look for a toothpaste specifically formulated for orthodontic patients, as they may contain additional ingredients to promote oral health.
  • Mouthwash: Using a fluoride or antimicrobial mouthwash can help reduce plaque buildup and kill bacteria in your mouth. Rinse with mouthwash after brushing and flossing to leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
  • Orthodontic Wax: Orthodontic wax can be applied to the brackets and wires of your braces to alleviate irritation and discomfort caused by rubbing against your cheeks or lips. Keep some wax on hand to use as needed.
  • Mirror: A small mirror can be helpful for seeing the areas of your mouth that are difficult to reach with your toothbrush. Use a mirror to ensure that you’re thoroughly cleaning all surfaces of your teeth and braces.

Having the right tools and supplies on hand will make it easier to maintain good oral hygiene while wearing braces. Make sure to replace your toothbrush and other supplies regularly to ensure optimal cleaning effectiveness.

Step-by-Step Guide to Brushing with Braces

Prepare Your Tools: Gather all the necessary tools and supplies mentioned earlier before starting. Having everything within reach will make the brushing process smoother and more efficient.

  1. Rinse Your Mouth: Before brushing, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water to loosen any food particles stuck in and around your braces.
  2. Start with Interdental Brush: Begin by using the interdental brush to clean between the wires and brackets of your braces. Gently insert the brush between each tooth and move it back and forth to dislodge any debris.
  3. Brush the Gumline: Wet your toothbrush and apply a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Angle the bristles of the toothbrush towards the gumline and brush in small circular motions. Pay extra attention to the areas where the brackets meet your gums, as plaque tends to accumulate there.
  4. Clean Each Tooth: Move the toothbrush to clean the surface of each tooth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces. Use gentle pressure to avoid damaging the braces or irritating your gums.
  5. Brush the Brackets and Wires: Angle the toothbrush to clean the brackets and wires of your braces. Brush gently but thoroughly, making sure to remove any plaque or food particles trapped around them.
  6. Floss Between Teeth: Use an orthodontic flosser to floss between each tooth and under the wires of your braces. Be patient and careful, as this may take some time to master, especially in the beginning.
  7. Rinse with Mouthwash: After brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with mouthwash for about 30 seconds. Swish the mouthwash around your mouth to reach all areas, including those difficult to access with a toothbrush.
  8. Check Your Smile: Use a mirror to inspect your smile and make sure you haven’t missed any spots. Pay attention to areas where plaque tends to accumulate, such as around the brackets and along the gumline.
  9. Apply Orthodontic Wax (If Needed): If you experience any discomfort from your braces rubbing against your cheeks or lips, apply a small amount of orthodontic wax to the affected area. This will create a barrier between the braces and your soft tissues, reducing irritation.

Following these steps daily will help you maintain good oral hygiene and keep your braces clean and free of plaque. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after meals, to prevent cavities and gum disease.


Mastering the art of brushing with braces may seem daunting at first, but with the right tools, techniques, and consistency, it becomes second nature. Proper oral hygiene is essential for successful orthodontic treatment and overall oral health.

By following the step-by-step guide and tips provided, you can effectively brush your teeth with braces and maintain a healthy smile. Remember to be gentle yet thorough, paying attention to all areas of your mouth.

At Fowler Orthodontics, we’re here to provide personalized guidance and support throughout your orthodontic journey. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. With dedication and proper care, you’ll navigate your orthodontic treatment with confidence, achieving a stunning smile and optimal oral health.