Saturday, February 25, 2012

Brushing your teeth with braces

Not too much new going on with my braces, I'm getting the surgical hooks put on on Monday.  I'm sure those are going to feel just great on my lips and cheeks :/

Now about the title of this post... We're adults and we generally think we know how to brush our teeth but when you have braces on your teeth, brushing is very different than without braces.  Braces automatically puts you in a high risk category for cavities because it is really difficult to keep your teeth clean.  Our teeth are naturally shaped so that food can get flushed away from the teeth.  With braces there are a million more areas for plaque to get trapped and bacteria to wreak havoc on our teeth and gums.

Below a very embarrassing photo of my teeth before I knew about proper brushing techniques.  The picture was taken right before I had a cleaning.  We put a dye on our patients teeth before their cleaning to show were plaque and calculus is built up.  On a person without braces, usually the plaque is built up along the gum line and in the areas between the teeth.  When we put the dye on my teeth, the plaque was built up directly beneath the wire.  That's when I realized just how important it is to use a proxabrush in addition to a regular toothbrush and floss.

you can see with this dye on my teeth that all of the plaque is built up right beneath where the wire normally is.
Adding the use of a proxabrush immensely helps with getting your teeth clean.  Also if there are spaces between any of your teeth you can use it not only around the brackets but also between the teeth to help get them clean.  The last thing you want after putting so much time and effort into having straight teeth is to end up with cavities or gum recession because you neglected your teeth while the braces were on.  This video explains how to use the proxabrush better than I can in words.

Here is another video about brushing with braces- because the technique is different than normal brushing.

and for flossing....  I've tried to use superfloss, but it takes SOOO long.  Now, I've been using "ortho flossers"  which are like floss picks but with a thin edge so they can fit under the wire.  The brand I absolutely LOVE are called platypus orthodontic flossers

They are seriously amazing.  I've found other brands that are similar at the drugstores and dental isle at the grocery.  They are soo much faster than using superfloss.  When I was just searching around on the web I found something called the flossFish.  It also looks really great and easy to use.  I'm definitely going to get some to try out!


  1. You go girl. We're praying for you, and are so proud of your accomplishments.

  2. I'm going to look up those ortho flossers! I use superfloss, and it's such a pain! Is your surgery scheduled soon? I am having a lefort 1/bsso on April 2nd.

  3. D- Thank you!

    Nikki- My scheduled surgery date is for April 12th- just 10 days after you! Keep us updated!


  4. Laura, this is a great blog that will help a lot of other people.
    Good to see that you don't have writer's block anymore!

  5. Ah, so now I know why my hygienist is insistent upon me coming in every 3 months for a cleaning! I have been giving much greater care to the section under my arch wire. Thanks you!

  6. When brushing braces, start brushing on the exterior part, between the wires and the gums, to loosen the food and debris, enough to get rid of. Brush in a circular motion for at least, ten counts. After the exterior part is finished, repeat the cycle on the inside. Rinse the mouth thoroughly to make sure it's clean (don't for get to rinse the toothbrush also). Floss in between the wires and directly under the brackets with the platypus flossers to finish.

    Pierre Cardan

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience and view on braces. This will help others in understanding and making coordination lifestyle with braces in day to day life style. Meet your dentist every time in situation of discomfort.