5 tips for proper dental hygiene with braces

Practicing oral cleaning habits to have a healthy mouth prevents cavities, bad breath, gingivitis and other oral diseases. But maintain proper dental hygiene with braces it can be more complicated.

The devices predispose to the accumulation of bacterial plaque and food debris around wires and rubber bands. Taking care of dental cleaning during orthodontic treatment is essential to avoid complications.

In this article we share 5 tips to keep in mind to achieve proper dental hygiene with braces. What if the oral cleaning is not correct? Find out here.

1. Choosing the right toothbrush

Thorough dental cleaning when wearing appliances is essential. It is necessary to stop at each tooth and make circular and sweeping movements on each face of the teeth. In addition, all parts of the orthodontic system must be cleaned, braces, bow and rubbers.

The choice of the toothbrush for this task is also very important. Dental hygiene with braces It can be done manually or with electric brushes:

  • Common toothbrush: a normal head brush, with soft and soft bristles is useful for cleaning tooth surfaces. Cleaning of the braces, but with skill and practice it can be done.
  • Brushes for orthodontics: It is similar to a common toothbrush, but the central row of bristles is shorter than the others, giving it a V-shape. This arrangement of the filaments allows it to reach the teeth and enter the arch to clean the surfaces of the teeth. braces. The neck is more flexible, facilitating access to all sites.
  • Electric brush: Using an electric toothbrush with a small, rotating head can facilitate access to all parts of the mouth. It can be useful for teenagers and people with poor manual dexterity.

The decision of which instrument to use will depend on the orthodontist's suggestions and the patient's preferences and abilities to perform the cleaning. Beyond the choice, it is advisable to change your toothbrush every 3 months or when the bristles are open or bent.

Choosing a toothbrush for cleaning is a task that must be done conscientiously so as not to ruin the ongoing treatment.

2. Use an interproximal brush for dental hygiene with braces

Interproximal brushes are small brushes designed for dental hygiene with braces. They come in different colors to identify their thickness and to be able to choose the right one for each interdental area.

They are necessary to clean the spaces between teeth during treatment and the edges of the teeth. braces and the area between the arch and the teeth, inaccessible with ordinary brushing. They should be used without toothpaste, after regular brushing.

3. Brush after every meal

As we already mentioned, oral brushing is essential to maintain adequate dental hygiene with braces. It is important to do it after each food intake and then drinking sugary sodas, coffees and wines.

After eating, food debris can get caught in the appliance. As plaque accumulates and forms, the risk of tooth and gum disease increases. That is why it is very important to brush after each meal, within 15 minutes after eating.

Night brushing is the most important and the one that should be spent the most time. Removable elastics and accessories should be removed and all faces of all teeth and the appliance thoroughly cleaned. Using plaque-revealing tablets or liquids can help verify that the film of bacteria is removed.

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4. Use dental floss

Using dental floss is useful for removing food debris and bacterial plaque accumulated between teeth and in braces. It is a necessary complement for proper dental hygiene.

The thread is passed between the upper part of the tooth and the arch of the appliance, reaching the area near the gum. Gentle sawing movements are made on the sides of the teeth and it is pressed on one side and removed. Then it is repeated on the other side with clean thread.

The maneuver must be repeated with all dental elements. While the technique can be difficult, it needs to be done at least once a day.

There are dental threads with a special design for orthodontic wearers. They have a stiff tip, a spongy surface, and a conventional floss area. This adaptation helps to easily access the interdental spaces and recesses of the appliances.

The rigid area is inserted under the arch wire, the sponge part cleans the sides of each bracket and the dental floss passes between the teeth, sanitizing the proximal areas of the teeth.

5. The use of mouthwash in dental hygiene with braces

The use of mouthwashes can be helpful to complement dental hygiene with braces. They never replace or replace brushing anyway.

Alcohol-free mouthwashes can be used to help kill bacteria. Also rinses with chlorhexidine that the dentist will indicate to treat inflamed gums.

The orthodontist may also recommend the use of a fluoride mouthwash to strengthen the enamel. and prevent cavities. These rinses can be used once a day or once a week, depending on the pharmacological presentation. It will be the professional who indicates how to use it.

Consequences of poor dental hygiene with braces

We already mentioned that to have braces and wires in the mouth favors the accumulation of bacteria and food debris in the recesses of the appliance. Not eliminating them predisposes to the appearance of oral health problems, such as the following.


It is the most likely and frequent consequence if proper dental hygiene is not performed. The braces They increase the risk of tooth decay by facilitating the accumulation of bacteria responsible for the demineralization of teeth.

Descaling around the bracket

If the plaque adhering around the braces, acids produced by bacteria demineralize tooth enamel. This decalcification becomes evident when removing the appliance, since white spots are observed around the site that the appliance occupied. bracket.

These areas that have suffered mineral loss not only affect the appearance of the smile, but are also more susceptible to tooth decay.

Swollen gums

The accumulation of bacteria that is not removed favors the precipitation of minerals from the mouth, causing the formation of tartar. These deposits inflame the gum tissue, resulting in swollen, tender, red, and bleeding gums.

Although the patient may feel pain in the area, it is advisable to insist on dental hygiene. Particular attention should be paid to cleaning the region where the teeth meet the gum. With proper brushing and supplementing with chlorhexidine mouthwashes, the gum can be returned to its normal state.

If, on the other hand, the inflammation remains uncontrolled, it will reach the area of braces, covering part of them. This not only worsens the gingival situation, but also interferes with orthodontic treatment, since professionals cannot work on a mouth in these conditions.

Gingivitis causes an inflammation of the gums that does not allow the orthodontist to work properly.

Limitation of movements

As we already mentioned, the accumulation of bacterial plaque can calcify and deposit around the gums as tartar. These stones hamper orthodontic treatment by interfering with the ability of the teeth to move.

If the devices can no longer perform the corresponding movements, the approach is being hindered and lengthened. For the patient it will be more time, more money and not achieving the result that he is looking for.

Tartar can only be removed by a dentist in the office. When there is evidence of the presence of dental stones, it is necessary to go to the dentist for a dental cleaning.

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Patient collaboration in dental hygiene with braces is essential

For orthodontic treatment to be successful, not only the expertise of the professional is necessary, but also the collaboration of the patient. Maintain proper dental hygiene with braces it is key so that the therapy does not fail.

In addition to these tips, it is very important not to miss an appointment with the orthodontist. The professional will not only make the adjustments related to the treatment, but will also check that the oral cleaning is correct.

Putting these recommendations into practice will help ensure that wearing appliances is not a reason for illness. With a healthy and cared mouth it will be possible to achieve the desired smile.