Cleaning Around Braces

Braces make lots of things trickier to do. You have to be careful about what you eat, you have to keep track of those elastics (and remember to use them) and suddenly there’s so much more in your mouth to brush, let alone floss.

But don’t let the presence of braces stop you from thoroughly cleaning every surface of your teeth every day.

The cleaner your teeth and braces, the less chance there will be of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Keeping your braces clean is an important part of your home-based preventive dentistry {link to the preventive dentistry page} routine.

Is It Difficult to Floss Around Braces?

It’s more challenging to floss teeth when you wear braces. It becomes necessary to thread floss under the wires before they can be passed between the teeth.

When flossing around braces, you can choose to use:

  • Regular floss with or without a floss threader
  • Floss alternatives, such as:
  • Superfloss (which has its own threader)
  • Interdental brushes

Flossing Braces With Regular Floss

With dexterity and patience, it’s possible to floss under and around braces using regular floss.

Some people use a floss threader to help get the floss underneath the wire, but others find they can simply direct the floss using their fingers and thumbs.

Cleaning Braces Using Floss Alternatives

A young woman cleaning around her braces using an interdental brush

Interdental Brushes and Superfloss both work really well around braces as well. The illustration above shows a model using an interdental brush underneath the wires.

Floss alternatives can be used to remove plaque and food from:

  • between the teeth
  • under orthodontic wires
  • around brackets

Observe the parts of your braces that harbour food particles and plaque. If your toothbrush can’t easily reach these areas, chances are that floss or floss alternative(s) can.

It’s Worth Persevering

Even though it’s tricky and it takes longer, it’s important to clean around every part of your braces well every day.

If you are struggling to reach any tricky spots around your braces, please feel free to ask for some guidance from your orthodontist or Dr Teo at your next appointment.