Caring for Your Braces

Dr. Lewis is known for creating beautiful, healthy smiles in Spring. Here are some tips for taking care of your braces.

Ortho Care

Taking care of your teeth improves your overall health — especially during your orthodontic treatment. Braces tend to collect food around your teeth, so to prevent decay, decalcification, and gum disease, it’s important to maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine.

While helping you achieve your bright, new smile, we want you to have clean and health teeth, so your dental health regimen should include:

  • Brushing at least twice a day
  • Flossing daily and diligently
  • Scheduling regular appointments with your dentist at least every six months

With a combination of personal oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings and checkups with your dentist, we can help you get a beautiful — and healthy — new smile.

Doing Your Part

To get the healthy and beautiful smile that you want, you, your family dentist, and Dr. Lewis will have to work together as a team.

You play a key role in ensuring the success of your treatment, and one of your main jobs is to keep your teeth clean and plaque-free.

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that collects on your teeth. It’s made of bacteria, food, and saliva and can completely derail your smile journey by causing swollen gums, bad breath, cavities, and permanent marks on your teeth.

At Brightside Braces, we teach all of our patients the correct way to brush your teeth and floss while wearing braces to make sure you remove all plaque regularly. Let’s look at some expert tips for ensuring good dental hygiene so that your smile journey is a success.


You’ve heard that you need to brush at least twice a day. During your orthodontic treatment, however, you may need to brush your teeth up to four or five times a day.

Ideally, you would carry a travel toothbrush with you so that you can brush thoroughly anytime after you eat or snack to remove all food that gets stuck on your teeth. If you leave home without your toothbrush — or brushing just isn’t an option — you should at least rinse your mouth well with water until you can get to a toothbrush.

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Keep these tips in mind when brushing your teeth with braces:

  • Use a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush. Because braces wear out a toothbrush quickly, you’ll need to replace your brush as soon as it shows signs of wear.
  • Be sure to brush your braces. Be sure to brush all parts of your brackets until they’re clean and shiny and you can see their edges clearly.
  • Brush every surface of your teeth. Brush the fronts, sides, and backs of your teeth with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean and rinse your entire mouth. While brushing, you should also scrub your tongue, the roof of your mouth, and your gums gently and thoroughly.
  • Inspect your teeth and braces carefully. Look closely in a well-lighted mirror to make sure your teeth and braces are spotless. This is also a good time to check for loose or broken brackets. If you find a problem, contact Brightside Braces to see if it needs to be checked out and if we need to schedule a time to make a repair.


Flossing can seem tedious, but it’s so important for helping remove food stuck between your teeth and brackets. These tips for flossing with braces will make the process smoother for you (don’t worry — you'll be a pro in no time!):

  • Floss before bed. This way, you won’t feel rushed, and you can ensure that you remove all the food from the day before the bacteria sits on your teeth overnight.
  • Use a floss threader. This reusable tool allows you to get underneath your archwire and in-between your teeth easily and effectively.
  • Clean carefully along and under the gumlines. Removing food and bacteria from your gumline can help prevent gingivitis and other dental issues.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Flossing with braces may seem like a difficult process. But it’s also super important, and like anything else, you’ll get a lot faster with practice.
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Other Helpful
Hygiene Hacks

In addition to brushing and flossing, here are a few other tips to help you maintain good dental hygiene while wearing braces:

  • Rinse with peroxide or saltwater. Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide or saltwater helps reduce inflammation on your cheeks and gum tissue. These rinses also help your tissues heal while you have braces.
  • Brush with an interdental toothbrush. An interdental toothbrush is a helpful tool to clean underneath the wire and the braces.
  • Use a power toothbrush or water flosser: These devices, such as the Oral-B Professional Series toothbrush, are designed to make brushing easier and more efficient.
  • Clean your retainers. After your braces have been removed, you’ll need to clean your retainers daily to prevent bacteria and plaque from accumulating on the retainer. To clean, dissolve a denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water and soak your appliance while at school or work.

Introducing Tweakz®: Your Essential Orthodontic Toolkit

At Brightside Braces, we're always on the lookout for ways to make your orthodontic journey smoother.

That's why we're excited to introduce Tweakz® for Braces & Aligners – a revolutionary 4-in-1 toolkit designed to handle the most common challenges you might face with your braces or aligners.

Ever been bothered by wires that poke and hurt? Frustrated by stubborn food stuck between your braces? Or been startled by the sudden "snap" of a rubber band? You're not alone. In fact, 85% of orthodontic patients encounter an urgent oral care issue during their treatment. But with the Tweakz self-care line, you can manage these issues in between your visits to Dr. Lewis.

What makes Tweakz® stand out?

spring braces

Tweakz Toolz

With the Tweakz 4-in-1 toolkit, you’ll get access to the following awesome tools and benefits:

  • Flush Distal End Cutter: No more emergencies caused by sharp wires. This tool not only cuts the wire but also holds the cut piece for safety.
  • Dislodged Bracket & Elastic Remover: Handle broken or dislodged brackets like a pro. Plus, it's perfect for removing food from those tricky areas and spaces between your teeth.
  • Rubber Band Applicator: No more struggles with those rubber bands. This tool makes removing and replacing them a breeze.
  • Diamond Dental File: Say goodbye to discomfort. This file is designed to smooth out any rough spots on your brackets, hooks, or bands that can cause painful ulcerations.
  • Each Tweakz® toolkit also comes with a handy travel case equipped with a mirror, ensuring you can address any orthodontic issue wherever you are.
  • Made by OrthoNu®, Tweakz products are dynamic, science-driven, professional-grade tools. They are crafted to address challenges in an environment where patients often experience discomfort and inflammation, ensuring maximum comfort and oral hygiene.

Interested in tweaking your orthodontic care? Ask Dr. Lewis about the Tweakz® toolkit on your next visit.

spring braces

Problems Caused by Poor Oral Hygiene

Good dental hygiene is critical during orthodontic treatment. Without it, plaque and food can accumulate around your braces.

The bacteria in plaque react with sugars and starches in food and form an acid that can eat away the enamel on your teeth, leading to white marks, cavities or gum disease.

Over time, this buildup of plaque can harden into tartar, which causes gaps or pockets to form between your gums and teeth. More tartar can collect in these pockets and cause a condition known as periodontitis.

Bacteria can also collect in these pockets beneath your gums. This bacteria attacks and destroys the bone that anchors your teeth, which can cause even healthy teeth to loosen or eventually fall out in a condition called advanced periodontitis.

Prevent Gum Disease

Early gum disease is reversible with professional help and good home care, but if you ignore it, it can get worse.

Gum disease is usually painless, so you need to pay attention to signs like bleeding or swollen and puffy gums. Carefully follow Dr. Lewis’s and the Brightside Braces team’s directions on hygiene to avoid these problems.