Is There a Right Way to Brush Your Teeth?


In order to keep your teeth and mouth really healthy, you should be brushing for a full two minutes. That’s 120 seconds and longer than most people usually spend on cleaning their teeth.

When you’re wearing braces or an orthodontic appliance, brushing your teeth can be harder and take a bit more time, but it’s also very important for avoiding other dental problems like cavities, tooth discolouration, and inflamed gums.

Here are some tips for brushing well and keeping your mouth healthy, whether you’re wearing braces or not:

1) Gingivitis can form in less than 48 hours, so brushing every day (at least twice) is so important. When you’re wearing braces, you have even more places that food and plaque can get stuck. Rinse your mouth with water first to loosen any food, and then run your toothbrush under hot water to remove any food particles. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and go back and forth with short strokes on the outer, inner and chewing surfaces. Then brush your tongue (either with your brush or with a specialized tool). Set a timer or play one of your favourite songs, so you know you’re spending enough time every time you brush.

2) Choose the right toothbrush. When you have braces, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent damage to your gums and teeth. At Britton Orthodontics, we will also provide patients with a proxy brush (provided with your starting kit) that helps to clean underneath the wire and around the brackets. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months.

3) Don’t forget to floss. Your orthodontist will provide you with specialized floss that has a threader to help you get the floss underneath the wire.

4) Avoid using any whitening products (toothpaste or mouthwash) as they work on the areas they come into contact with and will cause uneven colour once you have the braces removed.

5) Keep going to your general dentist for cleanings while in braces. If recommended by your orthodontist, you may need to do this more frequently while in treatment. And make sure not to miss your regular appointments with your orthodontist, so your treatment stays on track.