How to Keep My Teeth Clean with Braces and Clear Aligners

One of the most important parts of orthodontic treatment is keeping your teeth clean and healthy. Improper brushing and flossing can lead to cavities and periodontal disease, ultimately resulting in bone loss and potential tooth loss.

This is especially important with braces because of White Spot Lesions (see photo). These White Spot Lesions are cavities that are starting to form around the braces. They are permanent scars on the teeth that cannot be removed with simple tooth whitening.

How can I Avoid White Spot Lesions?

The best way to prevent White Spot Lesions is to make sure that you are brushing after every meal and flossing every night before bed.

Another way to help avoid White Spot Lesions is choosing Clear Aligners for your orthodontic treatment.

One of the biggest advantages Clear Aligners have over braces is that it is much easier to keep your teeth clean, and you are much less likely to get White Spot Lesions. Because braces are glued onto your teeth you need to be very responsible about brushing after every meal; otherwise food and bacteria will stick to the braces on your teeth for hours and the White Spots will begin to form. If you choose braces, you need to be willing to spend the extra time it takes to brush and floss well to keep them clean.

With Clear Aligners it is much easier to brush and floss normally because you can take the trays out. This means you don’t have to use all the special tools and instruments that are necessary to keep braces clean. We tend to see that patients with Clear Aligners have much healthier gums and teeth because it is much easier to take care of your oral health. 

Either way, brushing and flossing are very important for good health of your gums and teeth regardless of whether you choose braces or Clear Aligners.

Dr. Nee & Dr. Cyrus’s Tips for Keeping Your Teeth Clean

Clear Aligners:

  • Make sure to brush your teeth BEFORE putting your aligners in!
  • If no toothbrush is on hand, rinse REALLY well with water. You don’t want to trap all the food and bacteria in your mouth up against your teeth when you put the aligners in; this will lead to cavities.
  • Floss every night, brush at least twice a day!


  • Always carry a hygiene kit with you and have a toothbrush on hand!
  • Make sure to brush around each surface of the braces and to brush along the gumline.
  • Try to avoid sticky, sugary foods – these get stuck onto the braces easily.
  • Brush after every meal!
  • In addition to flossing, invest in a Waterpik to use at nights as well.

Educational Videos on How to Keep Braces Clean

We love helping our patients have Healthier, Happier Smiles. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions either via text through our website or by emailing