Nightly Care Checklist When You Have Braces

Braces can really transform your smile, but you might not be smiling when it comes to learning to care for your braces. Braces do require some extra attention and maintenance, and they can definitely come with their fair share of discomfort. Not sure how to handle life with braces? This quick guide will help you get through it. 

Nightly Care Checklist When You Have Braces

We all know that it’s important to clean your teeth properly. However, if you have braces, there is a bigger risk of developing oral issues. This is because when we sleep at night, we don’t produce the same amount of saliva during the day, causing a dryer mouth that makes a good environment for bacteria to thrive in. 

Due to these reasons, bear in mind that your nighttime routine is all the more important for helping to prevent oral problems like Gingivitis or inflammation of the gum tissue.

Brush Well Before Bed

Most dentists recommend brushing your teeth not only in the morning and at night, but also after every meal. Moreover, you should take particular care (and time) when you brush your teeth before bed. 

Here are the steps to brush your teeth correctly when you have braces:

  • Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles or a powered toothbrush to increase your brushing effectiveness. 
  • Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. 
  • Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. 
  • Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.

Flossing With Braces

Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which will also help keep your treatment time on track. 

  • To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire. 
  • Wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of taut floss between them. 
  • Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back and forth motion. Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. 
  • Repeat this process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth. 
  • If you find that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, ask us about a water flosser!

Always Check

After you’re done, open your mouth and have a look to make sure you haven’t missed any tiny pieces of food. Also, check your braces for any problems such as a wire or bracket that’s broken.


Caring for your teeth and braces can be challenging but be consistent with your nightly routine and soon, it’ll be second nature. Most people know right from the get-go that braces require some more work and care but it’ll all be worth it when you have your newly aligned teeth and beautiful smile!

Author: Dr. Alan Wong
Dr. Alan Wong is a dedicated orthodontist who loves helping his patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles. He is committed to providing gentle, effective care in a patient-centered environment. Dr. Wong is also a strong believer in continuing education, so he can provide his patients with the latest and greatest treatment options.