One of the top challenges in orthodontic care is brushing. Braces require extra effort to clean, and different techniques to reach areas where food and germs build up. This is especially true around brace brackets, bands, wires and fixed retainers.

Choose The Right Toothbrush

Step one of brushing with braces is choosing a soft toothbrush that is gentle on the gums, but strong enough to clean off the germs and food particles around the metal brackets. When left to grow, germs digest these sticky food particles and produce plaque acids that destroy the enamel.

Choose The Right Toothpaste

Now that you’ve chosen the right toothbrush, the next step is choosing the right toothpaste to clean and protect your teeth and braces. Most toothpastes are fine, but avoid using whitening toothpastes and products because these will only work on the parts of your teeth not covered by braces. Nobody wants a braces pattern on their teeth after they get them off!  A good toothpaste will cut through the food easily hardened behind braces, as well as kills germs and work to stop plaque from forming on teeth and around braces.


With the selection of the proper toothbrush and toothpaste, learning how to brush with braces is a snap. Start in one corner of the mouth and place the bristles of the brush at a 45-degree angle against the back teeth so you can feel the bristles up along the gums. Brush back and forth on all areas of the gum line on upper and lower teeth. Then, using small circular motions, slowly sweep the toothbrush cleaning only one or two teeth at a time. Do this for at least 10 circles. Choose a pattern that cleans the face sides including the brackets of the braces and tongue sides. Brush the biting side of both your upper and lower teeth using a back and forth motion. Before you finish brushing, check hard-to-reach areas like the face side of the upper and lower This process should take two to four minutes to thoroughly clean the teeth and braces.

Brush, Replace, Repeat

It’s recommended that you should brush at least three, if not four times a day if you have braces. Most people brush after each meal and immediately before bedtime because germs and food left on the teeth overnight can do significant damage. Those with braces are no exception, but teeth with braces can wear out toothbrushes much quicker than teeth without braces. The toothbrush is being used more often on both metal and enamel, so patients are encouraged to replace their toothbrush every three months.

For more info on how to brush your teeth and have great oral hygiene while you have braces just ask one of our amazing dental professionals at your next visit.