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  • Writer's pictureDr. Steve

Hot Tips: Keeping Your Teeth Clean with Braces

Maintaining care of teeth and gums with active orthodontic treatment is no easy task. It takes a lot of commitment (and time!) from your child to achieve optimal home care.  

Why is this so important?

Poor oral hygiene can lead to several problems, and a few can have long-term consequences.  


  • Tooth decalcification – permanent white spots on the teeth

  • Tooth decay – requires either a filling or crown to fix

  • Gingivitis – red and swollen gums or gum recession

  • Periodontitis – permanent bone loss around the roots of the teeth

  • Halitosis – bad breath

  • Systemic issues – excess bacteria in the mouth can cause problems in the body

Besides, it is not a “good look” at any age to have excess food stuck to one’s braces and/or have red swollen gums.

So, what are the pro tips for optimal home care with braces?

  1. Brush the teeth at least twice a day (this cannot be stressed enough!)

  2. Floss once a day. The best floss aid for braces is Platypus orthodontic flossers.

  3. Brush and massage the gums in addition to the teeth to keep gingival swelling to a minimum. 

  4. Take time at the end of each brushing to make sure the teeth are clean and that there is no residual food stuck on the braces. 

  5. Purchase an electric toothbrush with a rechargeable base.  Oral B or Sonicare make the highest quality toothbrushes.

  6. Consider an oral irrigator / water flosser.

  7. Purchase disclosing tablets – helps to show plaque on teeth.

  8. Assist younger patients with their brushing if they are having difficulties.

  9. See the dentist at least twice a year for check-ups and cleanings. Sometimes it can be beneficial to increase to 3-4 times a year while in braces.

Good luck!  With the right tools and a little “elbow grease”, your child’s pearly whites will look amazing throughout treatment and most importantly, on the day the braces are removed!

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