Young woman wearing braces

How to Clean Teeth with Braces

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Your child got the braces, and they’re looking sharp in more ways than one. And the braces are doing their job and straightening your child’s teeth. But, your child now needs to step up and do their job of learning to brush with braces. Sure, metal wires can make it challenging, but regardless, it’s essential to brush after every meal. And here’s how.

How To Brush Your Teeth With Braces

It’s a process to brush your teeth with braces. But a relatively simple one once it becomes a routine. Remember, practice makes perfect. Let’s begin.

  1. Before you brush, rinse with water to help loosen any food lodged around your braces
  2. Then start brushing (we recommend a brush designed for braces) at the gumline at a 45-degree angle
  3. Next, place the toothbrush on top of the brackets, angling down to brush on top of each bracket
  4. Then, reposition to slowly brush the bottom of the bracket and the wire, angling the toothbrush up
  5. Be sure to brush every tooth at the gumline and above and below the brackets to help remove plaque and food debris.

Some older kids may still require help until they are comfortable properly angling the toothbrush and have learned how to brush their teeth with braces. Again, it’s a process.

How To Clean Between Your Teeth With Braces

Your child should also learn to master regular cleaning between their teeth with braces. And flossing is that crucial step. Here are some helpful flossing with braces tips:

  • Try a floss threader to make flossing with braces easier
  • Consider water irrigators to help flush out food particles in tight spaces
  • After brushing, help prevent cavities by rinsing with mouthwash to help remove bacteria for a healthier mouth

It may take some time for your kid to navigate the journey of brushing and cleaning between their teeth with braces. So be sure to support and lift them whenever things get bumpy. Even with braces on, all kids should see their dentist twice a year for their regular cleanings.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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