Brushing & Flossing

Doctor Smiles Orthodontics is committed to offering comprehensive orthodontic care and advice both in and out of the office. Dr. Bedoya provides her brushing and flossing tips below to ensure optimal oral hygiene during the course of your orthodontic treatment. Whether you are straightening your teeth with Invisalign or are using braces for your treatment, these tips below will help keep away cavities and help maintain the cleanliness of your appliances.


Dr. Bedoya recommends using a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste of your choice. The best way to brush your teeth is by moving the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line or stuck in hard to reach places. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth and cover all areas of the mouth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of your front and back teeth. Lastly, be sure to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse since food particles can get stuck here and cause bad breath.

Especially during orthodontic treatment, brush your teeth four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles in your teeth and braces:

  • In the morning after breakfast
  • After lunch or right after school
  • After supper
  • At bedtime

It is best practice to replace your toothbrush as soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray. Rinse your mouth out with water or antibacterial mouthwash after you are done brushing, and avoid swallowing toothpaste.


Flossing is one of the best tips of removing food particles in hard to reach places and maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces, but it is important to get in the habit of flossing your teeth every day.

Dr. Bedoya recommends using the reusable floss threader provided by Doctor Smiles Orthodontics to floss under your archwire daily. To do so, pull a small length of floss from the dispenser through the threader and slide it up and down along the front of each tooth. Use care around your archwire and do not floss too forcefully around it or put too much pressure on it. After you floss between your archwire and braces, floss between your other teeth and gums.

To floss without a threader, pull the floss from your dispenser and wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out food particles or plaque as you go along. Unwrap clean floss as you go and don’t’ forget to floss behind your teeth and between your gums.

Flossing is best done at night to create a healthy routine and clean teeth before bed. When you first begin flossing your gums may bleed a little and this is quite normal. If the bleeding persists however, please contact Dr. Bedoya or a staff member so we can fix the problem.

Cleaning Your Retainer

During the retention phase of treatment, it is important to clean your retainer with a toothbrush each time you brush your teeth. Food particles and bacteria can easily accumulate in your retainer and it is important that you keep it as clean as possible. Dr. Bedoya suggests soaking your retainer once a day in room temperature water with a denture-cleaning tablet such as Efferdent. This will ensure that your retainer avoids plaque build up and tastes better as well!

Contact Doctor Smiles Orthodontics!

For more oral hygiene tips and suggestions, please contact our Tucson and Green Valley, AZ orthodontics office at 520-689-7877. Our friendly staff members are always available to assist you and look forward to seeing you in our office soon. Be sure to follow Dr. Bedoya’s oral hygiene tips and you will be on the right track to a healthy, beautiful smile in no time!