How to practice good oral hygiene with braces

How to practice good oral hygiene with braces 1

Braces are the answer to a number of dental concerns: They are worn to straighten teeth for aesthetic reasons, to fix bite issues, to correct over-or under-bites, to help solve speech impediments and fix issues like overcrowded or spacing issues. 

Whether worn for cosmetic or structural issues, braces may take some getting used to and you will have to adapt your daily oral hygiene routine to ensure you keep them clean.

Practicing good oral hygiene is essential at every stage of your life, not only to keep your teeth looking their best, but also to avoid the formation of plaque, cavities and gum disease. You should brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily and visit your dentist for a check-up every six months. When you have braces, you need to step up your regime and be even more diligent about your daily dental hygiene practices.

It may take a little longer to brush and floss with braces, but the extra effort is well worth it – when your braces come off, you’ll have a beautiful, healthy smile. Your oral hygiene routine won’t change much when you get braces – you’ll still need to brush and floss, however, you’ll have to adapt your technique.   

Braces are a little more difficult to keep clean as there are plenty of little nooks and crannies for food to get stuck in. Brushing and flossing correctly will ensure all food and bacteria is removed. Be sure to do both thoroughly, even if it becomes a little time-consuming.


It is inevitable that some food may get stuck in your braces when you eat. That is why it is important to increase the number of times you brush from twice per day, to after every meal. This will ensure that food particles are removed promptly, helping avoid the formation of plaque and bad breath. If you find yourself in a situation where brushing after a meal isn’t possible, rinse your mouth thoroughly with some water to remove food particles that may have collected in or on the braces.

Whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush is entirely up to you. Start with your top teeth. Hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against the top of your braces, and gently brush in small circular movements. Brush the inside of your top teeth and repeat the process on your bottom teeth.


Flossing is the only way to clean between the teeth and along the gum line. An easy and effective way to remove plaque around dental braces and improve gum health is to use a Waterpik® Water Flosser. It is clinically proven more effective than dental floss for people with braces, plus it’s a lot easier to use too.

Water flossing is fast and easy and leaves your mouth feeling great – cleaner teeth, healthier gums. Its patented pulsating action removes plaque and debris from hard-to-reach areas deep between teeth and below the gum line where traditional brushing and flossing can’t reach. This makes the Waterpik® water flosser ideal for implants and essential for braces for superior plaque removal.

How does it work? For best results, use a Waterpik® Water Flosser with the Orthodontic Tip. The Waterpik® WP-450 Cordless Plus Water Flosser (R1399.00) is a compact and practical choice and can be used with Waterpik® Orthodontic Tips (R179.00), which are designed to remove hard-to-reach plaque around orthodontic brackets and wires.

Fill the Water Flosser reservoir with lukewarm water and place it firmly on the base. Insert the flosser tip and click into the handle. Adjust the pressure control (start at low pressure), lean over the sink, and place tip in your mouth.

Turn the unit on. Starting with the back teeth, aim the tip at the gum line. Pause and lightly brush the area between the teeth and all around the orthodontic bracket or appliance. Proceed to the next tooth until all teeth in the top and bottom rows have been cleaned.

Quick, easy and effective, a Waterpik® Water Flosser is the only way to thoroughly floss when you have braces.

Maintaining good oral hygiene practices will ensure your teeth are sparkling and healthy when your braces come off. Invest the time today, and enjoy beautiful teeth tomorrow.


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