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Brushing & Flossing Teeth with Dental Braces

Now that you’ve decided to improve your bite and straighten your teeth, Dr. Cartwright and our assistants can help you achieve your best smile.  We will guide you through proper hygiene when we place your braces and track your hygiene throughout treatment to help you avoid decalcification, swollen gums and tooth decay.  You’ll need a little extra time each day taking care of your teeth and gums.
Continue to visit your dentist for regular cleanings and limit sugar and some other foods. Be sure to brush after each meal, floss in the evening before bed and use an interdental brush at night to get under your arch wire.  This will remove any plaque your toothbrush may miss.  The bacteria in the plaque can cause many of the common dental problems such as inflammation (red gum tissue), decalcification (breakdown of enamel) as well as tooth decay. The brackets do not cause any of these problems, it is poor oral hygiene that does this. Rinsing with a fluoride rinse such as Phos-Flur helps keep your teeth and gums healthy too.
If you practice proper brushing and flossing, your smile will be fantastic when your orthodontic treatment is complete.

How to Properly Brush Teeth with Braces?

Rinse your mouth with water before your brush to remove any loose food particles.  Floss first and then when you brush, angle the tooth brush at a 45 degree angle above and below each bracket on each tooth, don’t keep the brush straight on the brackets, you’ll miss getting the plaque off the enamel.  Be sure to brush for at least 2 minutes each time you brush.


How to Properly Floss Teeth with Braces?

Flossing is so important when you have braces.  It removes food particles and bacteria that build up around the tooth and helps prevent swollen gums.


This is what you need to know to floss properly:

  1. Use a floss threader, this will allow you to get under the arch wire.
  2. Cut a piece of floss about 12 – 18 inches long.
  3. Thread about 5 inches of floss through the floss threader
  4. Place the floss threader under the arch wire, remove the floss threader and run the floss up and down the neck of the tooth on each side.
  5. Repeat this process for each tooth.

Remember these are the steps to great oral hygiene:

  1. Rinse with water to dislodge any loose food
  2. Floss before you brush
  3. Brush with the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle above and below each bracket, brush for about 2 minutes each time you brush
  4. Use the proximal brush to get under the arch wire between each bracket
  5. Rinse with a fluoride rinse before bed
  6. Limit sugars and colas

Bethel Park Office

Dr. Gary Cartwright, DMD
4880 Library Road
Bethel Park, PA 15102
(412) 833-6188

McMurray Office

Dr. Gary Cartwright, DMD
2000 Waterdam Plaza Drive, Suite 160
McMurray, PA 15317
(724) 942-5130

Complimentary Exam

Dr. Cartwright offers a complimentary consultation for children under 18 that consists of a panoramic x-ray, photographs, a thorough orthodontic examination and a discussion of potential treatment options.

4880 Library Road, Bethel Park, PA 15102 USA
Gary Cartwright, DMD Bethel Park, PA Orthodontist. (412) 833-6188
2000 Waterdam Plaza Drive, Suite 160, McMurray, PA 15317 USA
Gary Cartwright, DMD McMurray, PA Orthodontist (724) 942-5130