Help Me With

Hygiene For Braces

Hygiene Instructions for a healthy smile

Braces create small ledges for food deposits, which can lead to cavities and gum problems. This makes brushing and flossing even more important while you are wearing braces.

When you brush and floss, handle your appliances carefully so you won’t break or loosen them. Following these brushing and eating tips will keep your appliances and your smile healthy.


Make sure to brush your teeth after every meal and before you go to bed. It’s best to use a fluoride toothpaste to help fight cavities. Your orthodontist may also prescribe a fluoride mouth rinse to help prevent cavities.

We recommend following these steps for brushing:

  1. Start by brushing the outside of each tooth at least 10 times
  2. Then brush where your gums and teeth meet, using a circular motion
  3. Brush the inside surface of each tooth at least 10 times, too
  4. Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth last

Remember you should be brushing at least three times a day: once at breakfast, at lunch and before you go to bed. If you're unable to brush after you eat make sure you rinse thoroughly with water, and never skip brushing at night before you go to bed.


Because your toothbrush won’t reach between your teeth, brushing alone won’t keep your teeth clean and healthy. Flossing can help. A floss threader, available from us or a pharmacy, helps you floss with braces on.

Floss once a day, like this:

  1. Thread floss through the threader and slip it up behind your archwire
  2. Pull the floss between two teeth and up under your gum margins
  3. Rinse with lots of clean water, and watch your teeth and braces sparkle

Eating Tips

While you are wearing braces, you can eat almost all of your favourite foods. Please stay away from the following foods:

  • Sticky foods like gum, toffee and caramels
  • Hard foods like apples and carrots (cut them into pieces)
  • Crunchy foods like popcorn and nuts
  • Eating fewer sweets helps fight cavities

This site is meant to provide general information about orthodontic treatment. These pages do not provide medical advice, and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice. Wellington Orthodontic Associates and their agents including website designers, contributors or Internet Service Providers provide no warranty and accept no liability for the information disclosed here. For medical advice see your orthodontist.