The Best Tools for Cleaning Braces

Woman cleaning her braces

When it comes to maintaining healthy teeth and gums while wearing braces, proper oral hygiene is key. This means not only brushing teeth regularly but also properly cleaning and caring for the braces themselves.

The Best Tools for Cleaning Fixed Braces

There are several tools that can help make cleaning braces easier and more effective. Make use of the tools from the list below as well as any teeth cleaning tools recommended by your orthodontist and dentist.

It’s best to combine the information concerning the best tool for cleaning braces in this article along with these 16 Ways to Keep Teeth & Gums Healthy & Clean for overall great oral hygiene.

Interdental Brushes

These small brushes, sometimes known as proxabrushes, are specially designed to clean around and between the wires and brackets of braces. Their thin, pointed handle and soft, flexible bristles are designed to reach into tight spaces and remove plaque and food particles that a toothbrush may miss.

These are essential to clean braces properly as they are one of the few teeth-cleaning tools that can reach all the nooks and crannies without being too abrasive on teeth, and small enough not to threaten to snap any of the braces’ wiring.

Interdental brushes are an effective tool for maintaining good oral hygiene while wearing braces and can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. They are available in a range of sizes to fit the spaces between different teeth. Note that interdental brushes can and should be used in addition to regular tooth brushing and flossing.

Orthodontic Floss Threaders

Flossing with braces can be challenging, as the wires and brackets can get in the way. The last thing you want to do is detach or break any of the wires or brackets while cleaning. Orthodontic floss threaders make it easier by allowing you to thread floss through the spaces between the teeth and under the wires gently.

To use orthodontic floss threaders effectively, follow the steps below:

  1. Insert the threader under the wire of your braces: Hold the floss threader with the pointed end facing down and gently push it under the wire of your braces.
  2. Thread the floss through the space between your teeth: Hold the floss taut and use a gentle sawing motion to move it back and forth through the space between your teeth.
  3. Remove the floss threader: Once you have finished flossing, gently pull the floss threader out from under the wire of your braces.
  4. Repeat the process for each space between your teeth: Repeat the process of inserting the floss threader, threading the floss, and removing the threader for each space between your teeth.

Water Flossers

Water flossers, sometimes called oral irrigators, use a stream of water to flush away plaque and food particles from between teeth and around braces. They can be especially helpful for people with braces, as they can reach areas that may be difficult to clean with a toothbrush or floss.

Disclosing Tablets

Disclosing tablets are a useful tool for checking the effectiveness of your cleaning routine. This is especially useful to show children the spaces they are missing when they start their young journey of wearing and cleaning their braces.

When dissolved in water and swirled around the mouth, these tablets release a dye that highlights any areas where plaque or food particles are still present as they have been missed in the cleaning process. This can help you identify areas that need extra attention and ensure that your braces and teeth are being thoroughly cleaned.

The Best Tools for Cleaning Removable Braces

Removable braces are arguably easier to clean because they can be removed before eating and for cleaning. Follow the steps below to properly clean and care for your removable braces (like Invisalign).

soft-bristled Toothbrush

Once you have taken out your removable aligners simply brush all their surfaces gently with the toothbrush.

Denture-Cleaning Solution

Soak your aligners in a denture-cleaning solution to help loosen and remove plaque and stains. Simply dissolve a tablet in a cup of warm water and soak your aligners for about 15 minutes.

Mild Dish Soap

If you do not have denture cleaning solution you can use a mill dish soap solution for the same effect. Mix a small amount of mild dish soap with lukewarm water and soak your aligners in the solution for about 15 minutes to help loosen and remove plaque and stains.

Interdental Brush for Cleaning Clear Aligners

As with fixed braces, the interdental brush can help you to reach any small spots and tight spaces while cleaning your Invisalign braces.

Disclosing Tablets for Cleaning Clear Aligners

As with cleaning fixed braces, disclosing tablets can help to visualize any spots you may have missed while cleaning removable braces or aligners. Instead of swirling the solution in your mouth you simply mix the solution in a vessel and soak your Invisalign to identify any spots you may have missed while brushing them.


In addition to using these tools, it’s important to brush teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste. Use a toothbrush designed specifically for braces, or a regular toothbrush with the bristles trimmed down to a size that can easily reach between the wires and brackets.

Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed.

Finally, be sure to see your orthodontist regularly for check-ups and adjustments. Contact us for a free consultation and we will be able to check the health of your teeth and gums and make any necessary adjustments to your braces to ensure that they are working effectively.

By following a proper hygiene routine and using the right tools, you can help keep your teeth and gums healthy while wearing braces and ensure that your treatment is a success.

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