1863 Alum Rock Avenue, Suite C

San Jose, California 95116


Oral Hygiene

Brushing with Braces


Brushing is the first step in your oral hygiene routine. When brushing with braces, follow these steps:


•Brush the outside of your teeth with the brush perpendicular to your teeth. Always brush with small circular motions.

•Brush the part of your teeth between the archwire and gums with the brush angling toward the archwire.

•Brush the part of your teeth between the archwire and the chewing surface with the brush angling toward the archwire.

•Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth.

•Brush the insides of your teeth.

•We recommend that you brush your teeth at least three times a day when you have braces, and you should brush after sugary snacks as well.


An interproximal brush can help you clean around your brackets and wires. Use this carefully to avoid damaging your braces.


Remember, to make cleaning your braces as easy as possible, pay attention to our foods to avoid list.


Flossing with Braces


You should floss every day with braces. Follow these steps to do it properly:


1.  Thread the floss behind the archwire

2.  Slip the floss between your teeth

3.  Move the floss between your teeth, making sure it goes all the way down to the gum line

4.  Pull the floss out and use a different section of the floss for the next section


Never pull on your archwires with the dental floss. This can damage your braces and bend the wire, which can delay or impair treatment.


Rinsing with Braces


It is recommended that you rinse your teeth every time you clean your teeth. Water is good, but if you begin to develop periodontal problems, we may recommend an antiseptic rinse. It’s also good to rinse with water every time you drink a sugary beverage, especially acidic beverages like soda or citrus juices.


Oral Hygiene with Invisalign


In general, Invisalign does not require much in the way of special care. However, it is important that you remember to brush and floss your teeth every time you eat. If you don’t thoroughly clean your teeth before putting your aligners back in, you are trapping bacteria against your teeth in the perfect airless environment for them to produce acid and odor-producing compounds.


Retainer Care


Once you have moved on to the retention phase of treatment, it’s important to clean your retainer as well. Brush it every time you brush your teeth. Every day, soak your retainer in an approved cleaning solution. Do not use hot water, as this can damage your retainer.




American Dental



American Association

of Orthodontists