Brushing & Flossing

Brushing & Flossing

At CFSS Braces, we’ve been creating beautiful smiles in FayettevilleFulton, and Syracuse for over 60 years. As the preferred orthodontist for teens and adults in the Syracuse area, we’re proud to treat a wide range of orthodontic problems with expert treatments, including Invisalign, metal braces, and more.

Because orthodontic treatment is more than just wearing braces or aligners, we’re committed to caring for your smile before, during, and after your treatment. That’s why we’ve compiled the following tips for brushing and flossing with braces and Invisalign.

Brushing With Braces

No matter which type of braces you choose, there will be a small period of adjustment when they are first placed on your teeth. You may experience some tightness or discomfort, and you may have to adjust to speaking and eating. There will also be a change in the way you are able to brush and floss your teeth. It is very important to make sure you maintain proper oral health habits with braces:

  • Brush more often—The orthodontists at CFSS Braces recommend that you brush your teeth with braces after every meal. That means packing a toothbrush with you wherever you go.
  • Brush for the proper amount of time—With clear or metal braces, it’s very important to spend at least two minutes brushing to properly clean your teeth and remove food particles. To make the time go fast, set a timer or use one of the many brushing apps available.
  • Select the right toothbrush—If you haven’t been changing your toothbrush every six months up to this point, now is the perfect time to start. Your Syracuse orthodontist suggests a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. An electric toothbrush can make your brushing even more effective.
  • Brush systematically—When you’re brushing your braces, develop a system so that you are sure to make brush contact with every tooth on every side. Start with brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle circular motions with the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Begin on one side at the top, and brush each tooth moving to the other side. Then, move to the bottom. Next, do the same thing on the inside surfaces, making sure to go all the way down to your gum line. Finally, brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth with short, gentle back-and-forth motions. Be sure to pay close attention to the areas of your teeth around your brackets.

Flossing With Braces

Flossing is a crucial step in keeping your mouth clean. With braces, it’s very easy for food particles to get stuck in and around your teeth, brackets and wires. If left this food and bacteria can develop plaque around your brackets and lead to gum disease. Flossing after every meal will help prevent this, which will in turn help keep your treatment time on track. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Floss more often—Before getting clear or metal braces, you may have only flossed at night or maybe not at all. Your Syracuse orthodontist recommends that you floss after every meal so that food doesn’t have a chance to turn to bacteria.​​
  • Choose your floss—It can be challenging to floss around your brackets and wires, but thankfully there are special tools you can use to make the process a breeze. Your orthodontist will show you how to use a floss threader and provide you with special waxed orthodontic floss that will help you thread the floss behind each wire. ​
  • Flossing steps—Once you thread the floss under your archwire, wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of taught floss between them. Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back and forth motion. Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth.​
  • Consider a water flosser—If you find that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, a water flosser may be the perfect solution. Ask your Syracuse orthodontist for more information.

How To Brush & Floss With Aligners

Many patients choose our Invisalign or Invisalign Teen orthodontic treatment. Our orthodontists here at CFSS Braces are the only Top 1%” Invisalign provider in Central New York, treating more Invisalign patients than 99% of the other Invisalign providers in North America! If you’ve chosen Invisalign or Invisalign Teen as your treatment, brushing and flossing will be very easy for you.

  • Brush & floss normally—Remove your aligners and use the same procedures as above for brushing your teeth. We still recommend flossing with a wax-coated floss, but the procedure is simplified without having to thread floss under wires.​​​
  • Brush & clean aligners—You will be wearing your Invisalign aligners 22 hours a day, only removing them for eating. That makes it especially important to clean your aligners each time you remove them. Your Syracuse orthodontist recommends brushing your aligners gently with fluoride toothpaste, being careful not to scratch the plastic. Then, rinse your aligners under cool water before putting them back in your mouth.​​​
  • Soak aligners—To give your aligners a clean and fresh feel, consider soaking them every couple of days in water with a denture cleaner, baking soda mixture, or special aligner cleaner.

Contact Your Syracuse Orthodontist!

Whether you opt for clear braces, metal braces, or Invisalign, good oral hygiene is crucial to maintaining a healthy smile during your treatment. As your Syracuse, Fayetteville, and Fulton orthodontist, the CFSS Braces team will do all we can to help you keep your braces and aligners clean so that your treatment will stay on schedule. If you have any questions about brushing and flossing, or if you’re ready to transform your smile with braces or Invisalign, give us a call today at (315) 458-0020, or book an appointment at one of our offices. We can’t wait to hear from you and help you stay on track toward your new, beautiful smile!

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