Brushing your teeth is always important, but it is even more important when you are wearing braces. Food can get stuck on your braces and cause staining, tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Here are some suggestions on when and how to brush your teeth.


You can use any brand of toothbrush you like. Try to buy one that is soft and has lots of bristles. Change your toothbrush often, no less than every three months. Toothbrushes are cheap compared to cavities.

If you prefer to use an electric toothbrush, Braun, Interplak, and SonicCare all make effective electric toothbrushes. Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric is a personal choice. Properly used, all are effective. If you choose an electric, remember that the brush heads need to be changed as frequently as a manual toothbrush, so keep several spares on hand. A worn out head is ineffective and will not remove plaque properly.


You should choose toothpaste that will motivate you to brush. Avoid frequent use of whitening toothpaste. Any toothpaste that has fluoride is preferred. Fluoride can protect and rebuild your tooth structure. Use a fluoride rinse before going to bed; this can be bought at any drugstore.


Flossing while you are wearing braces is more difficult, but well worth it. You can pick up a floss threader at any drugstore or pick some up from our office to make flossing easier. Waterpik also makes an electric flosser that works well. We sell these at any of our office locations.


We ask that you see your dentist for a cleaning at least every three to six months; depending on your needs. Maintaining ideal hygiene with braces is very difficult even for a very diligent brusher.

Frequency of Brushing: Brush at least five times a day following this schedule.

  • As soon as you wake up, brush really well (at least three minutes). Plaque has had all night to build up on your teeth, do this before you get dressed or eat breakfast so you won’t be rushed. 

  • After breakfast, give a quick brush. This is to remove breakfast from your teeth. 

  • After work/school, brush really well again. Plaque has been sitting on your teeth since the morning. 

  • After dinner, another quick brush. 

  • Before you go to bed, scrub them good. Now is the time to floss and use a fluoride rinse.

The schedule we have suggested takes very little time. Keeping your teeth clean will eliminate bad breath, damage to your teeth, bone loss, gum infection, and will speed up the removal of your braces

We also recommend that you use a interproximal brush to clean difficult-to-reach areas around your wires, brackets, and bands. These brushes are especially helpful to remove food and plaque along the sides of the braces. You can purchase more of these brushes at your local drugstore.