Matthew J. Olmsted, DDS MS

Diplomate, American Board of Orthodontics

Specializing in

Invisalign & Braces



2205 Oak Ridge Road, Suite CC * Oak Ridge, North Carolina 27310

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(336) 441-8301

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Good oral hygiene is not just important for having white and beautiful-looking teeth, but to avoid oral health problems. Your oral health affects not just your teeth, but your gums, jaw and the rest of your body. With proper dental hygiene, you avoid gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontal disease, both of which can negatively affect the success of your orthodontic treatment. You can avoid these potential problems during orthodontic treatment by creating good oral hygiene habits. It can be a little more difficult brushing and flossing your teeth while wearing braces, so talk to your dentist about special toothbrushes and threader floss that helps get around the wires and brackets.

How to Brush

The first thing to learn after you get your braces is the proper way to brush your teeth. You will need to remove any elastic rubber bands you have on your braces, along with other orthodontic appliances that can be removed. Start by brushing around the brackets and wires of the braces at a 45-degree angle. Clean the wires and braces thoroughly before getting to your teeth. Next, brush your teeth by brushing each one individually, applying gentle pressure. Tilting your toothbrush can help get to the hard-to-reach places behind the brackets. Don’t forget to use the tip of the toothbrush for cleaning the insides of your teeth, and brushing your tongue as well.

How to Floss

Ask your orthodontist for a special type of dental floss used when you have braces. This may be threader floss or a kind called super floss. The length of the floss should be about 18 inches long to allow for maneuvering it properly between the wire and braces, and in between your teeth. Floss not jut around your teeth, but around the braces and the gums. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with mouthwash after you are done flossing your teeth in order to get any bacteria you were not able to reach previously. If you use a floss threader and are not experienced with it, ask your orthodontist to show you how it works. They can also help show you a demonstration of using super floss around the braces and wires.

These tips are for those patients with traditional metal braces and wires. If you have clear ceramic braces, lingual braces or Invisalign, the methods may be slightly different. Always remember to remove any removable parts or rubber bands before brushing your teeth. Brush and floss thoroughly twice a day at least to keep your teeth and orthodontic appliances clean. This helps with your oral health tremendously.

Dr. Olmsted is committed to providing quality dental care to patients in Oak Ridge, Stokesdale, Colfax, Summerfield, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville.  If you would like a consultation, call us at 336-441-8301.

Brushing and Flossing

Caring for your new braces requires proper care of your teeth as well as your orthodontic appliances. Dr. Olmsted recommends brushing and flossing your teeth a minimum of two times per day while wearing braces, but prefers patients also brush and floss after each meal.  

The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene