Brushing & Flossing with Braces


Tips from Dr. Melissa Brown


Dr. Brown and her exceptional team strive to provide patients with a comfortable environment while delivering the most efficient and effective orthodontic treatment. We take your orthodontic care seriously, and you should too. That's why we are happy to offer you tips on how to maintain your oral hygiene while wearing braces.

How We Value Brushing at Dr. Brown's Office

Dr. Melissa Brown and her staff take the time with their patients to review brushing at every appointment at brushing stations in the office, before their appointment. During the appointment Dr. Brown and her staff make sure to go over brushing procedure with each patient. The doctor then will give each patient a “brushing score” after each appointment.

Get Rewarded for Great Brushing!

Should a patient receive six “great” brush scores in a row, they are awarded a prize gift card! Each time a “great” brusher score is earned, patients are then entered into a raffle to win a $100 gift card each quarter. We believe this is a fun way to get patients excited about creating great brushing habits for exceptional oral hygiene!

The reason we emphasize the importance of brushing is because braces, wires, bands and retainers can all trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Careful brushing and flossing, preferably after every meal and snack, is the best way to prevent plaque build-up, tooth decay and gum disease. Learn how to take care of your teeth below!

How to Brush with Braces

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.

Frequency of Brushing with Braces

Dr. Melissa Brown places a high value on good oral hygiene and emphasizes its important throughout life. It is especially important during orthodontic treatment to brush your teeth four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles in your teeth and braces:

  • In the morning after breakfast
  • After lunch or right after school
  • After supper
  • At bedtime

As soon as the bristles on your brush start to wear down or fray, replace it with a new toothbrush.

Flossing with Braces

Dr. Brown wants her patients to know the importance of flossing while wearing braces. Smaller food particles can become wedged between teeth and archwires, making it difficult to maintain good oral hygiene. For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, we recommend the new Ortho-Flossers or the platypus flossers! You can click on the link below to order:

Another great option for flossing with braces is reusable floss threaders to floss under your archwire daily. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. Use care around your archwire and do not floss too forcefully around it or put too much pressure on it.

Floss nightly but please note that your gums may bleed a little at first which is normal. If the bleeding persists after the first few times, inform a staff member at Dr. Brown’s office at your next appointment.

Using an Interdental Toothbrush

A Proxabrush is an interdental toothbrush that you may use to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. Dr. Brown recommends using the Proxabrush gently to avoid damaging your wires. The Proxabrush will help you to clean your braces while maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Remember though, the Proxabrush is not a substitute for flossing.

Cleaning Your Removable Appliance/Retainer

Brushing your retainer every day is a vital part in maintaining oral health with your regular brushing and flossing routine. Food particles and plaque can accumulate on your retainer or appliance just as it does on your teeth, making it important to soak your appliance daily. Dr. Brown recommends doing so in a glass of tap water with a denture-cleaning tablet that will make it cleaner and better tasting.

Come Visit Dr. Melissa Brown and Her Team Today!

We encourage you to browse the rest of our website for further information on our premier orthodontic practices in Corning, NY and Mansfield, PA. If you wish to make an appointment you may fill out an appointment request form online or contact one of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you!