First, follow any advice that your orthodontist or dental hygienist provided. While wearing braces, special attention needs to be given to cleaning your teeth and the orthodontic appliance as both dental plaque and food particles can easily get trapped between the teeth and gums and the appliance. Here are some commonly accepted recommendations for tooth-brushing:
1. Remove any rubber bands fitted to the appliance (you will need to replace them with new ones after brushing)
2. Use a specially designed brush for orthodontics (with “V” cut bristles) such as the GUM® Orthodontic toothbrush. Apply fluoride toothpaste. Brush at least twice a day and if possible after every meal.
Note: If you prefer to use a regular toothbrush, that’s OK. Just make sure you use a high-quality brush that has tapered bristles such as the GUM® Technique® Deep clean or GUM® Technique® Complete Care to reach in all the difficult-to-clean areas.
3. Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth, pointing toward the gums, and use a gentle circular motion on each tooth ensuring the bristles can reach into the gaps between the teeth and under and around the brackets and wires of the appliance.
4. Brush on both the outside and inside surfaces of all teeth, and do not forget the biting surfaces too.
5. The whole procedure should take about three or more minutes to do thoroughly. When you think you have finished, spit out the toothpaste and check in a mirror to make sure there are no bits of food still trapped anywhere.
6. Perform your regular between-teeth cleaning with either floss or interdental brushes. If using floss, a floss-threader will help thread the floss between the teeth and under the wires. You can also use small specially designed “interdental brushes” or GUM® Soft-Picks® that reach between the teeth and remove the dental plaque as effectively as dental floss.
7. Don't forget to re-apply any rubber bands.
8. If you notice any bleeding from the gums or small white spots appearing on any of your teeth, visit your dental professional.