Wash Your Hands Before Brushing and Flossing Your Braces

Close up of a young person cleaning beneath their braces with a cone brush

Braces straighten your teeth so that you can enjoy a smile that is both healthy and beautiful. Good dental hygiene is essential while wearing braces (of course, it’s really essential all of the time!). Proper brushing, flossing and rinsing reduces the increased risk of tooth decay associated with brackets and wires that catch food. Effective cleaning of your braces and teeth also prevent the small white enamel stains that can result from poor braces care.

Because cleaning your braces requires you to use your hands near your mouth, it’s important to clean your hands first. Doing so prevents the spread of viruses and bacteria from your hands to your mouth. For effective washing, follow these guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Wet your hands with running water
  • Lather soap on your hands by rubbing them together
  • Scrub the hands for 20 seconds
  • Be sure to include the palms, backs of your hands, in between the fingers and the fingertips
  • Rinse your hands under clean running water
  • You can use a clean towel, paper towel or air dry your hands

photo series showing the proper procedure for effective hand washing

Follow this technique and you can be sure your hands are clean, and that you can brush and floss sanitarily. If you are currently wearing retainers, you must wash your hands this same way before inserting or removing the retainers.

When brushing, use gentle force on all sides of your teeth and all braces surfaces. Use threaded floss or regular floss with a threader to clean between your teeth once a day. A conical “Christmas tree” brush is a great on-the-go tool for dislodging stuck food, but you should wash your hands even if you’re doing a quick clean with the cone brush.

Have More Questions About Braces Treatment?

If you live in Denver, Stapleton, the Cherry Creek area or in surrounding areas, please call the practice of experienced orthodontist Dr. Robert Rudman at 303-331-0222. We care deeply that each of our orthodontic patients has a successful treatment experience. If you have any questions whatsoever or need to schedule your next appointment, please give us a call or contact us online.

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