Achieving a healthy, beautiful smile is a team effort. Your orthodontist will straighten your teeth – but it’s your responsibility to maintain your dental health, through regular oral care and regular visits to your dentist.

If your gums and teeth are healthy and clean, your teeth will move better and faster. But now that you have braces, proper oral care will take some extra time and effort.


When your mouth is loaded with extras — bands, brackets, and wires — brushing your teeth gets tougher and extra important.

At Efrain H. Chara Orthodontics, we feel caring for your teeth and keeping them cavity-free is a top priority during orthodontic treatment. Please look through our resource center to help you through your orthodontic treatment.


When your mouth is loaded with extras — bands, brackets, and wires — brushing your teeth gets tougher and extra important.

The better you are able to maintain good oral hygiene the better your smile will look after your braces are removed!


You will notice that it is much harder to keep your teeth clean with braces. Food becomes caught in the brackets and between your teeth. Brushing is the first step in your oral hygiene routine.

When brushing with braces, follow these steps:

  • Use a soft toothbrush and brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth in small circles above and below the brackets.
  • Brush the brackets on your teeth one by one. Spend about 10 seconds brushing each bracket in a circular motion until you have cleaned every one of your teeth.
  • Clean under your archwires. Tilt your toothbrush so the bristles can get into the area between your braces.
  • Brush the chewing surface of all your teeth.
  • Brush the inside surfaces of all the teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth, and check your teeth in the mirror. Your braces and teeth should be clean and shiny.

Brushing after meals and flossing will help prevent plaque from forming and should become part of your daily schedule. ​

Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your appliances, so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray.


Flossing is more difficult when you have braces bonded to your teeth. You may find it necessary to insert the floss under the wire with a device called a floss threader and then slide the floss gently between your teeth.

Be careful not to apply too strong a force on the wire. Remember to use gentle movements when you scrape the side of the tooth under the gum line and not to snap the floss. Do not forget to floss all your teeth, including those in the back.

  • ​Floss at least once a day. The floss needs to be pulled under the archwire wire, a floss threader facilitates this. Start by pulling floss through the threader.
  • Push the end of the floss threader under the archwire and pull the floss through.
  • Pull the floss up between the teeth, and gently move it up and down the side of both teeth. Remember to move it up all the way under the gums.
  • Pull the floss out, and use a different section of it for the next tooth.

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