Stoll Orthodontics | Thornton CO

Brushing and Flossing with Braces the Right Way

Keeping your brackets clean is an important part of your orthodontic treatment. When you’re used to brushing your teeth without braces, you’re used to just slapping your toothbrush on and not really giving it a whole lot of thought. Now that you have braces, it’s easy for food and plaque to get stuck on top of your brackets.

Brushing with Braces

To properly brush around your braces, you’re going to take your toothbrush and you’re going to brush around every single bracket. It’s all about the angle and technique. You want to be sure to get every single angle to ensure you get around these little squares on your teeth so nothing gets stuck on there. It just takes a little bit more time and attention than before, but we know you can do it.

Dr. Stoll likes to joke that it’s not just a toothbrush, but it’s also a gum brush. So when you’re done brushing your teeth, get that toothbrush up on your gums and brush the best that you can. We would love it if you could brush three times a day, or after every meal every snack. We also recommend using a fluoride rinse at night before bed just to swish around and make sure you rinse away any remaining food particles.

Flossing with Braces

When you’re done brushing, we would love it if you could floss every night. Flossing with braces nowadays is not as daunting as it used to be. Now we have these cool little orthodontic flossers that have this skinny arm. It makes it super easy to floss your teeth in between the wire. You’re going to take the skinny arm, and you’re just simply going to stick it behind the wire. It’s super easy.

If there’s a spot that is too crowded for the flosser arm to fit, you can use floss threaders. To use a floss threader, you’re going to loop your floss through the floss threader and you’re going to guide it where you need it to go – just like a needle and thread.

We also send you with what we call proxy brushes or Christmas tree brushes. If there’s a spot on your braces that you can’t get to or you’re on the go, you can use a proxy brush to get that chunk of sandwich out of your braces. We’d rather you use this than your fingers so you don’t accidentally bump the bracket off.

What to Do About Uncomfortable Brackets

It will feel like there’s a lot going on in your mouth as you adjust to having your braces. If there’s a bracket that feels like it’s rubbing your cheek funny, we recommend using wax to help cover the bracket that’s bothering you just while your cheek adjusts to it being there. To do that, you’re going to take a little bit of the dental wax that we give you and roll it into a ball. As you work the wax with your fingers, it will start to soften. Now you’re just going to gently push it on top of the bracket that’s rubbing your cheek.

I promise if you wear the wax for a couple days, your cheek will get used to the bracket being there and it’ll be like it was never there. You can use this on any bracket in your mouth or even on poking wires. Your mouth will get used to the brackets after a couple of days. It is normal to feel discomfort for the first few days. Don’t fret, it will get better. You can take the normal dose of over the counter pain medications. If you need to eat lots of softer and colder food for the first couple days. We always recommend lots of ice cream.

If a bracket breaks or is loose. Don’t worry about it. We can fix it at your next appointment. Just give us a call at (303) 450-2211 and let us know. We’re always here to help with anything you need. Please call us if you have any questions.


Stoll Orthodontics is located in Thornton, CO and proudly serves the Thornton, Westminster, and Broomfield communities and the surrounding area. Dr. Stoll offers early orthodontic care as well as Invisalign and braces treatment options for kids, teens, and adults. Please call us at (303) 450-2211 or schedule your complimentary in-office or virtual consultation online today.