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Mastering braces-friendly brushing

One of the biggest concerns we hear from moms of children going into braces is that their child is not going to take good enough care of them. With a little extra attention and diligence, your child can make it through braces with a perfect, healthy smile. While braces have lots of nooks and crannies around them, they actually protect the teeth where they are placed. But cleaning around them is super important. Here’s a great plan for that:

Dry brushing: After a meal (likely at dinner time), grab a dry (no toothpaste) toothbrush and loosen food particles and plaque around the braces. I encourage parents to help with this part. Find a spot in the house with a bright light and wiggle that toothbrush all around. Without toothpaste foaming up, you’ll be able to see everything that needs attention.

Toothpaste time: After the dry brushing, have your child rinse with water and then brush with a fluoridated toothpaste to help strengthen enamel. I like Colgate Total as it also has an antigingivitis agent, too. Waterpik magic: Sometimes a Waterpik can be helpful to get the hard-to-reach spots. Its gentle water stream cleans between braces, wires, and gums — it’s like a soft pressure washer for the teeth and braces.

Flossing made easy: Flossing with braces can be challenging. Using floss threaders, interdental brushes, or orthodontic floss can make it easier. Turn flossing into a family affair, sharing stories and bonding over oral hygiene. With these simple steps and a little more attention, you can help your child keep their braces and teeth shiny and healthy.


Brought to you by:

Brad Chvatal, DMD, MS

(541) 683-8490 •

1400 Valley River Drive, 240, Eugene

1130 E. Main Street, Cottage Grove


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