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Proper Oral Hygiene for Braces

Braces are an excellent way to correct a variety of dental problems. However, they also mean that you have to work harder to keep your teeth clean. It is important that you carefully floss and brush your teeth, and that you thoroughly rinse your mouth properly. This is because braces, wires, bands and retainers all trap food particles which can cause plaque build up on your teeth if they are not thoroughly cleaned. Here is a guide to how to properly care for your teeth and gums with braces.


Using a soft bristle brush and a toothpaste that contains fluoride you should brush your teeth using moderate force. Angle your toothbrush so that you can feel the bristles under your gumline and brush using small, circular motions. Clean the entire surface of each tooth including the areas above, below and between each brace. Brush your teeth slowly, and be sure you also brush the roof of your mouth and your tongue. You should brush your teeth 4 times every day: Once after each meal and once before bed. This means your toothbrush will wear out fairly quickly, and should be replaced as soon as the bristles start to fray.

Your toothbrush will not likely be able to properly reach under the archwire. To properly clean this area you will need to use an interdental toothbrush. Us this brush gently to avoid damaging your wires.


It is more difficult to floss your teeth when you have braces, but it is more important than ever. To properly floss your teeth if you have braces you will need to use Super Floss.

Super Floss consists of a stiff, straight end, a spongy middle section and a normal floss end. To floss using superfloss you will need to:

  1. Pass the still straight end of the floss under the wire between two teeth
  2. Gently insert the normal floss end carefully through the contact between the two teeth and gently scrub up and down between the two teeth, forming a "C" around one tooth.
  3. Repeat both steps for all teeth in your mouth, and floss after every meal and once before bed.


To help prevent infection and reduce the irritation you experience from your braces it is important that you rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash. Rinse your mouth with two teaspoons of mouthwash for one minute and then spit it out. You should rinse 4 times a day after you brush your teeth.

For more information about keeping your braces clean, or to book an appointment, call Dr. Popp today at 403.248.2066 and visit

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