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How to Prevent Cavities While Wearing Braces

Updated on January 24, 2012


Wearing braces is already a challenge, especially when everyone is asking to see them and you are embarrassed to smile. You may have just eaten a salad and still have a piece of lettuce stuck in the wires between your two front teeth. Well at least that piece of lettuce can be seen. But what about the rest? While wearing braces, food will become stuck in places unseen, and it is extra hard to get out because flossing has now become a pain. But it must be done unless you want to have the hassle of having your orthodontist take your braces off so the dentist can fill cavities because of your lack of dental care. The following steps will help you to remain cavity free during your time of wearing braces.

Things You'll Need:

  • Electric toothbrush with heads made for braces
  • Dental Floss with a threader
  • Tartar brushes
  • Plaque removing mouth wash
  • Bacteria killing mouth wash
  • Water pik (optional)


Tip 1

Before going to the orthodontist, make an appointment to see your dentist for a thorough exam and cleaning to make sure you do not have any cavities before having the braces put on. Orthodontists are not going to check for cavities.

Tip 2

After having braces placed on your teeth and you can eat solid foods again, cut out or down on certain foods such as sweets, nuts, popcorn and breads. These foods can get stuck in places that may be difficult to reach with your new way of flossing.

Tip 3

I know you have been told to brush and floss three times a day since kindergarten, but while wearing braces, you may find yourself doing so more often. Invest in a really good electric toothbrush and a water pik that will remove food in between teeth and braces.

Tip 4

In addition to flossing and brushing, I suggest that you use a plaque remover mouth wash before brushing your teeth. This will loosen any plaque and food in between your teeth. After brushing and flossing, use a bacterial killing mouth wash that will kill any bacteria that can cause cavities or gingivitis.

Additional Tips & Warnings

  • Carry a tartar brush in your car or purse for those times when you are out and can't brush. This will help get any embarrassing food out of your braces.
  • If you are going to eat sweets, please make sure to brush and rinse with mouthwash afterwards.
  • Invest in a fast and efficient electric toothbrush.
  • Get your teeth cleaned every 4 to 6 months while wearing braces.
  • Speak with your dentist about how to floss properly while wearing braces.


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    • Carmen S. Jones profile image

      Carmen S. Jones 5 years ago from Metro Atlanta

      I have never used a water pik, but when I had braces a few years ago, I used a Rotadent and it really gets in between the braces.

    • Tams R profile image

      Tams R 5 years ago from Missouri

      Very informative. I'm a strange one, I suppose. When I was a child, I used to be jealous of the girls with braces because I wanted them too. Have you used a water pik? I'm wondering if they are painful for sensitive teeth?