Extra time is needed when brushing with braces. This is to ensure that all areas around and in between the braces have been properly cleaned. The goal is to remove plaque from around the teeth and along the gum lines. It is the bacteria in plaque that is responsible for causing inflamed gum tissue which can lead to gingivitis, decalcification, and tooth decay.
The proper way to brush is to scrub gently above and below the braces. Brush for 10 seconds around each tooth and do not forget to brush the tongue-side surfaces as well.
Inter-Proximal brushes are brushes with a miniature “Christmas tree shaped” tip. You can purchase these at most drug stores – they make it easier to clean in between the braces and under the archwires.
Flossing simply requires an extra step – you must first thread the floss under the archwire. There are also special types of floss with a stiff end, called floss-threaders, which makes flossing with braces a bit easier.
Aside from brushing and flossing, regular mouth rinses should also be used – this will help to reduce the level of bacteria around the teeth.