Dr. Gina Lee’s Helpful Hacks: Brushing with Braces!


As always it is crucial to avoid sticky, chewy, and hard foods, but even if you do, the components of braces cannot avoid trapping just about every type of food.

As a result, in order to prevent plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum inflammation, you must thoroughly clean your teeth after each meal.

At the very least, your toothbrush should have a round head because it is easier to guide around brackets and wires than most rectangular heads. The bristles in round toothbrush heads do not get caught in the brackets and wires as often and experience less wear and tear. It is also helpful to purchase a small spiral dental brush, which resembles a small bottle cleaning brush or pipe cleaner to help clean your braces.

But the best option for maintaining your oral health is certainly an electric toothbrush. According to a study at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, using a sonic toothbrush, such as an Oral-B, will significantly reduce your chances of developing gum disease. In our office, we offer Oral-B toothbrushes to patients in order to promote improved oral health.

Regardless of which type of toothbrush you choose, be aware that bristles and brush heads will very likely get caught in the brackets and thus they will wear out and need to be replaced much quicker than you have experienced in the past.


You can purchase some specially manufactured threader floss, which is simply floss produced at various lengths and each segment has a built-in threader at its end. Dr. Lee also recommends an OrthoFlosser, which has a flat side designed to maneuver around the wires and brackets. These can be found on Amazon.com. By using these products, you will have better control over the floss and you can avoid pulling too hard on orthodontic wires in your mouth in a manner that may damage them.


If you have especially sensitive teeth or gums, you should choose a toothpaste that will help alleviate your symptoms, which is available at your local drugstore. In addition, you should avoid using a whitening toothpaste because it will not be able to penetrate behind the brackets that are on your teeth. After the braces are removed you will be left with areas on your teeth that are visibly darker than the rest of the teeth.

It is usually a good idea to begin by rinsing your mouth a couple of times to dislodge any food that can be easily removed from your wires or brackets. You can either use warm water or a pre-brush mouth rinse to do so.

When brushing you must remember that you need to clean the brackets as well as your teeth! As tiresome as it might seem, taking the time to clean the brackets and teeth will help you have excellent oral hygiene! Good oral hygiene while in orthodontic treatment is essential! Swollen and inflamed gums, as well as permanent hypocalcification (or white spots), are no joke!

At your appointment, we will provide an in-person instruction and pointers about how to brush their teeth with braces and maintain their oral health. The reason we do so is that it is best to see an actual example of how to brush your teeth with braces, rather than simply providing a verbal description.

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