Tips for Keeping Your Braces Clean

Keeping your braces clean is important for your smile and oral health. Clean braces certainly look good, but they also keep your teeth and gums healthy. Dr. McDermott wants you to enjoy a confident, dazzling smile. With a few things in mind, you can keep your braces in great shape. Our McDermott Orthodontics team, whether in Arnold or Florissant, is here to help you keep your braces as bright as they can be. We recommend the following:

Regular Orthodontic Visits

Regular visits to McDermott Orthodontics will help your braces remain clean. Our Arnold and Florissant teams will check your braces and adjust them. Routine visits help catch any issues early and help your braces work as they should. Plus, our team will offer advice and tricks to improve your daily braces cleaning routine. Don’t skip these appointments!

Avoiding Certain Foods

What you eat can make a big difference in how well you keep your braces clean. Sticky and hard foods can be a problem. Foods like gum, caramel, and taffy can get stuck in your braces (yikes!). Hard foods like nuts, popcorn, and hard candies can damage the wires and brackets. Instead, go for braces-friendly snacks. 

Soft foods like oatmeal and eggs, yogurt, and smoothies are all great choices. Cooked vegetables, cheese, and soft bread are also good options. By choosing the right foods, you can keep your braces in good shape and make cleaning easier. Remember, eating the right things helps keep your braces working well and your smile healthy. 

Tips for Keeping Your Braces Clean

Brushing Techniques

Keeping your braces clean starts with proper brushing techniques. By brushing correctly, you can remove leftover food and plaque. If you don’t, you might develop dental problems (like cavities!). Here’s how to brush with braces:

Brush After Every Meal

Brushing after every meal helps remove food particles stuck in your braces. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to clean around your brackets and wires. Brush each tooth gently. Make sure to get both above and below your brackets. Don’t rush! take your time to clean each tooth thoroughly. Need to hit the road for summer? A travel toothbrush can be handy.

Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

A soft-bristled brush is gentle on your braces and gums. Electric toothbrushes can work wonders for you, as they often have settings for sensitive teeth and braces. Replace your toothbrush or brush head every three months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. Brushing with a soft-bristled brush helps prevent damage to your braces and gums and keeps your teeth clean and healthy. 


Flossing helps clean between your teeth and around your braces, removing particles of food and damaging plaque. Flossing gets rid of stuff that brushing alone might miss. Here’s what to know about flossing with braces.

Make flossing a part of your daily routine. Use orthodontic floss or a floss threader to get the floss between your teeth and under the wires. Carefully slide the floss up and down along the sides of each tooth and under the gumline. Be gentle to avoid damaging your gums or braces. Flossing every day helps keep your teeth and gums bright and in good shape. Moreover, you’ll reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease.

Rinsing and Mouthwash

Rinsing your mouth and using mouthwash are essential steps in keeping your braces clean. These practices help remove food and reduce plaque buildup.

Rinse with Water

After eating, rinse your mouth with water to wash away loose food particles. You’ll prevent food from getting stuck in your braces. Swish water around your mouth for half a minute. It helps keep your braces and teeth cleaner until you can brush.

Use Antibacterial Mouthwash

At the grocery store? Look for an antibacterial mouthwash. It’ll cut down plaque and freshen your breath. For stronger teeth, choose a mouthwash with fluoride. Use it once a day, preferably after brushing and flossing. Swish the mouthwash around your mouth. Count to 30 in your mind. Make sure the mouthwash reaches all areas. Pay special attention to your braces. Mouthwash helps keep your gums healthy and adds an extra layer of protection against cavities. 

Specialized Cleaning Tools

Using specialized cleaning tools can make keeping your braces clean much easier. These tools are designed to reach spots that regular brushes might miss.

Tips for Keeping Your Braces Clean

Interdental Brushes

Interdental brushes are small brushes that fit between your teeth and braces. They are perfect for cleaning around brackets and wires. Use them after meals to remove trapped food fragments. They are easy to carry and can be used on the go.

Orthodontic Toothpaste

Orthodontic toothpaste is specially formulated for people with braces. It helps clean around brackets and wires better than regular toothpaste. It also contains fluoride to strengthen your teeth and protect against cavities. Using orthodontic toothpaste cleans your braces more thoroughly to keep them shimmering.

Tips for Keeping Your Braces Clean

Braces Care at McDermott Orthodontics

Keeping your braces clean is key to a superstar smile and successful orthodontic treatment. By following these tips from Dr. McDermott and our team at McDermott Orthodontics, you can maintain excellent oral hygiene. Remember that regular visits, smart food choices, proper brushing and flossing, rinsing, and using specialized tools all play a part in your dental health. Ready to take the next step? Go here to schedule a free consultation at either our Arnold or Florissant office.