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Brushing and Flossing

Orthodontic Brushing and Flossing

It is very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout treatment. We can help you choose the right toothbrush, toothpaste, or any other oral hygiene product. Please make sure to ask us for assistance.

Plaque and food that gets caught on your braces and is not brushed off can cause cavities, red swollen gums (gingivitis), bad breath, and permanent white spots.
You will need to brush your teeth several times a day with a Fluoride containing toothpaste.

Woodbridge VA orthodontist Dr. Hessamfar recommends that you brush in the morning, after meals and snacks, and before you go to bed. Before going to bed give yourself some extra time and make sure that you brush thoroughly, floss between your teeth, and use a WaterPik.

When you brush, you need to make sure that you’re not only cleaning the braces – make sure you are cleaning your teeth. You will need to angulate the bristles so that you reach above and below the braces. Also gently brush the gum line (where your tooth and gum meet).

Don’t forget to brush the biting surfaces of your teeth and the backs of your teeth. An interproximal brush is a great tool to get under the wire and between the braces where the toothbrush can’t reach.

Brush your Teeth for 2 Minutes After Every Meal

Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. As an alternative, you can use a powered toothbrush to increase your brushing effectiveness.

Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush your teeth chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.

Brushing: Step 1

Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum and brush in a circular motion.

Brushing: Step 3

Gently brush without irritating the gums.

Brushing: Step 2

Brush the outer, inner, and the surfaces of each tooth.

Brushing: Step 4

Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of each tooth.

Floss Nightly After Brushing

Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which will also help keep your treatment time on track. To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire.

Wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of taught floss between them. Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back and forth motion.

Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth. If you find that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, ask us about a water flosser!

Flossing: Step 1

Using a piece of floss about 17 inches long, carefully thread the end between braces and wire. A floss threader may be helpful.

Flossing: Step 2

Carefully floss around the braces, avoiding too much pressure on braces. This can break your braces off your teeth.

Flossing: Step 3

Carefully floss around the gum areas like the letter C.

Flossing: Step 4

Carefully floss around each tooth, avoiding too much pressure on braces. This can break your braces off your teeth.