How to Care for Your Braces

If you're new to braces, Dr. Duevel and Dr. Keim at Fargo Orthodontics can help. Here are some tips to take care of your braces.

Ortho Care

During your orthodontic treatment with Fargo Orthodontics, taking care of your teeth is essential for your overall health and achieving a great smile.

Braces can increase food buildup around your teeth, so maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial to prevent decay, decalcification, and gum disease.

With regular dental cleanings/checkups with your dentist and consistent personal oral hygiene, you‘ll get a beautiful, healthy smile you can rely on.

Doing Your Part

To ensure successful treatment, it's essential to work together as a team. As the patient, your role is crucial. Maintain good dental hygiene and keep your teeth clean while wearing braces.

Although caring for your braces requires some extra effort, the results will be well worth it, giving you the best possible smile from your orthodontic treatment.

Plaque Is Your Enemy

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film made of bacteria, food, and saliva that can accumulate around your braces, leading to swollen gums, bad breath, cavities, and marks on your teeth.

Regularly brushing your teeth is crucial to remove plaque. We'll show you the correct way to floss while wearing braces to ensure regular plaque removal.

When to Clean

After meals or snacks, brush your teeth thoroughly. If you can't brush immediately, rinse your mouth well with water until you can brush.

Carry a travel toothbrush for brushing when you're away from home. Each day, thoroughly brush your teeth and braces until they are spotlessly clean, and then floss.


Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is crucial to lower your risk of decalcification and decay. Ideally, brushing four to five times a day is preferred to remove food particles trapped on your teeth after meals.

When brushing with braces:

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush.
  • Brush all parts of your braces and every surface of your teeth.
  • Brush your gums gently and thoroughly.
  • Rinse thoroughly after brushing.
  • Inspect your teeth and braces carefully to ensure they are spotless.


Flossing is equally important to remove food stuck between your teeth, especially with braces. Use a floss threader to get under the wires of the braces and in between the teeth.

Tips for flossing with braces:

  • Floss every night before bedtime.
  • Use a floss threader if necessary.
  • Clean carefully along and under the gum lines.
  • Practice will make flossing with braces easier.

Mouth Rinse

A hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse can help reduce inflammation on your cheeks and gum tissue during treatment.

Saltwater rinses are also helpful in reducing inflammation and irritation of your gum tissues.

Interdental Toothbrush

An interdental toothbrush is a useful tool to clean underneath the wires and braces.

Cleaning Your Retainers

After your braces are removed, cleaning your retainers daily is essential to prevent bacteria and plaque buildup. Soak your retainers in tap water with a denture-cleaning tablet once a day.

Prevent Gum Disease

Early gum disease can be reversed with professional help and good home care. Pay attention to signs like bleeding or swollen gums and follow Dr. Duevel and Dr. Keim’s hygiene instructions to avoid problems.

With consistent dental care, regular dental checkups, and diligent personal hygiene, you can maintain your oral health and achieve a beautiful smile throughout your orthodontic treatment. Remember that caring for your braces now will benefit you in the long run.

Problems Caused by Poor
Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment is critical. Without proper care, plaque and food can accumulate around your braces, leading to various dental issues:

  • Decalcification: If plaque accumulates around your braces, it can leave permanent stains on your teeth, known as decalcification. These lines and spots will remain on your teeth for life.
  • Gingivitis: The buildup of plaque can cause gingivitis, characterized by swollen and bleeding gums.
  • Periodontitis: If plaque hardens into tartar, gaps or pockets may form between your gums and teeth, leading to periodontitis. Pockets of bacteria can damage the bone that supports your teeth, causing them to loosen or fall out.
  • Cavities: Plaque reacts with sugars and starches in food, producing acid that can erode enamel, leading to cavities.
  • Gum Disease: Gum disease can occur due to the buildup of plaque and tartar, causing swollen, bleeding gums and potential tooth loss.