Oral Hygiene


How to Clean Braces

The following is a guide to oral hygiene when wearing braces. This description of effective cleaning techniques is also available in Portable Document Format (PDF) for you to download and print.

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How to Clean Braces

Braces trap food very easily which promotes plaque formation. Plaque can lead to gum disease and enamel damage. With the daily use of effective oral hygiene techniques, plaque build-up can be prevented.

The foundation of good oral hygiene is effective brushing. This is done with a fluoridated tooth paste and a soft bristled brush. Brushing should be done after every meal and snack and should be done slowly and carefully. It is important to not only brush the braces but also brush both the inside and chewing surfaces of the teeth.

The Three Steps to Effective Brushing

All the above can also be done with an electric toothbrush.

Flossing With Braces

Flossing with braces should be done once a day.

Other Cleaning Techniques

Other hygiene aids that can be used to help keep your braces clean include:


Mouthwashes are good at helping to maintain a clean mouth.

They are best used one or two times each day after brushing. To get the best effect from using a mouthwash, try not to rinse with water after using it. If you find the taste of the rinse is too strong, it may help to mix the mouthwash with water, half and half.

Be sure to talk with your orthodontic specialist about other helpful tips on how to prevent permanent marks, or even cavities on your teeth, and also any gum infections (or problems) while you’re wearing your braces.