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Braces 101

Oral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene and home care techniques are extremely important to a successful treatment in braces or Invisalign.

Caring for your Retainer

Retainers, just like your teeth, collect plaque, bacteria and food particles.  You should clean your retainer every day!    Keep your retainer soaking when it is not in your mouth.  Use a mouthwash rinse or denture cleaning agent to freshen it up and keep it free of bacteria.  Keep your retainer away from heat; the plastic can crack if it gets too dry or too hot.  Try not to bend the wires; flipping your retainer in your mouth can do this.


Now that you have braces, your teeth are more difficult to clean, so you have to be very careful to keep those new braces clean.  You should brush your teeth properly after every meal and snack.  Always keep your toothbrush handy, you should even be brushing at school or work after lunch.  You will also need to replace your toothbrush more often, since the braces will make it wear out quicker.

Flossing with Braces

Flossing with braces is a bit on the tricky side, so it takes a few minutes to perfect.  But don’t give up, flossing is very important to the health of your teeth.

Step 1 – Thread your floss under the wire that connects your braces together.
Step 2 – Once you have threaded the floss under the wire, wrap the floss around the tooth on one side.  The Floss is then pushed up towards the gum line and then pulled down toward the wire.  Repeat this step 5 times to remove all plaque.
Step 3 – Wrap the floss around the neighboring tooth and repeat the process on this tooth.

Once both teeth are done, pull the floss out and repeat the process for the next two teeth.

Interdental Brushes

The interdental brush is especially good in cleaning the tooth surface next to the braces.

Water Jets

The water jet is an effective tool to remove plaque and debris lodged deep between teeth and around braces.  The water jet shoots a pulsing stream of water that dislodges remaining food particles.   Adding an antiseptic dental rinse to the water is recommended.  Use the water jet after your regular brushing and flossing routine.


An antiseptic dental rinse (Peroxyl) should be used after every meal (at least 4 times a day) to control minor gum inflammation and irritations that might arise from orthodontic treatment.

A fluoride rinse that helps prevent tooth decay by killing harmful bacteria and replenishing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. Rinsing does not replace brushing.  You should rinse after brushing and flossing.