Braces and Oral Hygiene – Mill Creek, WA

Girl with teeth braces using interdental and traditional brush


Good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your smile at home. When you have braces, though, it can be a little more difficult. 

Why Dental Hygiene Matters

Dental hygiene always matters, but it matters even more when you have braces. Braces can make it easier to let your dental hygiene slip, while poor hygiene can extend the duration of your orthodontic treatment. The last thing you want is to get caught in this vicious cycle. Gum disease and cavities are no fun, let alone when you already have braces to worry about. 

How to Keep Braces Clean

Brushing and flossing with braces is probably easier than you think it is. You should continue to brush every single day, two times each day for a minimum of two minutes each session. You may find it beneficial to brush more often. If possible, we suggest brushing after every meal because food will inevitably get trapped in the braces. The longer this food is in contact with your teeth, the higher the likelihood of cavities developing. You can continue to use an electric toothbrush if you are using one. Regardless of what kind of brush you use, the bristles will wear out faster than normal, so you may need to replace your toothbrush more frequently than the recommended time frame of every three months. 

Flossing will take some getting used to but like with brushing, it is vital that you continue to floss as you would usually do, once a day. A mirror and waxed floss will make it much easier so that you can watch yourself and make sure you are getting in between all of the areas. If you are concerned about flossing around the wires, a water flosser might be helpful.

Foods to Avoid

You probably already know that you should avoid foods like popcorn, gum, and pizza crust because they can potentially damage your braces, but these are not the only foods to watch out for. Sugary foods can make maintaining dental hygiene with braces trickier. Sugary foods are notorious for causing cavities, and with braces this can be made much worse. If even a tiny piece of sugary candy gets caught in your braces and stays there for a few hours, let alone overnight, this long period of contact can easily result in a cavity.

Getting a Professional Dental Cleaning

Besides doing everything else we suggest above, the best thing you can do for your oral hygiene is continuing to see your regular dentist for professional cleanings. Professional cleanings can reach areas that normal brushing cannot, and your dentist is trained to spot signs of developing cavities, gum disease, or other issues that might arise while wearing braces. The recommendation of the American Dental Association is that you get a professional cleaning every six months, and you should stick to this schedule while receiving your orthodontic treatment. 

Braces Mill Creek

To get personalized advice on how you can maintain your dental hygiene, call today and you can make an appointment with our orthodontist at Sullivan Bastian Orthodontics.