Braces trap food very easily, and this promotes plaque formation. Plaque can lead to gum disease and damage to the enamel of the teeth, resulting in permanent white spots and cavities. With daily, effective oral hygiene techniques, plaque build-up, and the subsequent damage, can be prevented.

The foundation of good oral hygiene is effective brushing. This is done with a fluoridated toothpaste 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 to also brush the section above and below the braces, the inside of your teeth, and the chewing surfaces.

3 steps to effective brushing

Navigation Icon: Opens / Closes Accordion

Flossing with braces

Navigation Icon: Opens / Closes Accordion

Other cleaning techniques

Navigation Icon: Opens / Closes Accordion


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 aware that some mouthwashes are just “breath fresheners”, while others have a documented therapeutic effect.