Brushing & Flossing

It should probably go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway – the foundation of a healthy smile lies in a great oral hygiene regimen that includes proper brushing and flossing – even when you’re wearing braces. When food particles are left in your mouth to accumulate, this will turn into plaque, which can then lead to tooth decay and gum disease. To prevent this from happening while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to learn how to properly brush and floss – two vital oral hygiene skills that your orthodontist in Vienna here at Denise Nguyen Orthodontics will be glad to help you with.

View Our Educational Video: Brushing and Flossing While Wearing Braces


brush3During orthodontic treatment, you’ll want to brush your teeth three times every day (once after every meal and then again before going to bed) to avoid the accumulation of food particles in your braces and teeth. Braces contain many nooks and crannies that make it easy for food particles to get trapped, which is why you need to remain so persistent in your brushing. For maximum effectiveness in your brushing, we recommend doing the following:

  • You should first pick a toothbrush that has soft bristles and then place a small strip of fluoride toothpaste on the brush.
  • Brush the fronts of your teeth carefully using small, circular motions to reach any food particles that are underneath your gum line, making sure to hold your toothbrush at an angle. When you brush, you’ll want to brush up on your lower teeth and down on your upper teeth.
  • Do the same for the backs of your teeth as well.
  • Use a scrubbing motion to clean the chewing surfaces of your molars.
  • Finally, brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse your mouth thoroughly.

You may need to replace your toothbrush more often because of your appliances and your additional brushing. Make sure to replace your toothbrush with a new one when the bristles start to fray or wear down.


floss2Flossing is vital because there are areas between the teeth that a toothbrush just can’t reach. Dental floss is capable of removing food particles and plaque between these areas. Unfortunately, flossing may prove to be more of a challenge when you’re wearing braces. To properly floss while wearing braces, we recommend following these steps:

  • First, you should pull a small length of floss from the dispenser.
  • Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers.
  • Guide the floss between your teeth to the gum line, pulling out any plaque or food particles.
  • Unwrap some clean floss from around your fingers and move onto the next pair of teeth.
  • Continue this process until you’ve flossed between each of your teeth.

If you’re having trouble with your flossing, we recommend using a floss threader, which our office will provide for you: To use the floss threader properly, you’ll want to follow these steps:

  • First, pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader.
  • Slide this floss up and down along the front of your teeth; you’ll be able to tell when a tooth is clean because you’ll hear the squeak of the floss.
  • Floss around your archwire, making sure not to do it too forcefully.
  • After you’ve flossed between your archwire and braces, floss between your other teeth and gums.

It’s also important for us to note that your gums may bleed a little when you first begin flossing. There’s no need to panic though as this is completely normal. However, if this bleeding doesn’t go away after the first several times you floss, let your orthodontist in Vienna know at your next appointment.

Contact Your Orthodontist in Vienna Today!

If you have any further questions about proper brushing and flossing, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment with your orthodontist in Vienna, feel free to fill out our appointment request form. We can’t wait to hear from you and help you maintain top-notch oral hygiene!

Denise Nguyen Orthodontics

  • Denise T. Nguyen DDS - 8298-C Old Courthouse Rd., Vienna, VA 22182 Phone: 703-847-6544 Fax: 703-847-9364

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