Not Brushing Teeth With Braces: 6 Effects, What To Do?

When your orthodontist suggests you take extra care of your oral hygiene, you may wonder, What happens if you forget to brush your teeth with braces?

Not brushing teeth with braces regularly has more serious effects than without braces. You may end up with excessive deposition of plaque and tartar, tooth decay, inflammation of the gum, tooth discoloration, and in the worst case tooth mobility. It’s mandatory to brush for 60 seconds at least twice a day to prevent these.

Let’s know about the effects of not brushing teeth with braces in detail and try to find a way to avoid it.

6 Effects Of Not Brushing Teeth With Braces

Effects Of Not Brushing Teeth With Braces

Here are the 6 effects of not brushing teeth regularly with braces on teeth:

1. Excessive deposition of plaque and bacteria

When you eat, foods accumulate on the teeth surface, especially at the margin of gums and between the teeth.

After getting braces and wires, there is more chance that food debris deposits between teeth and braces.

If you don’t clean that debris, this results in plaque build-up. But, how does this happen?

There are various types of bacteria present in our mouth. Some of them are good. And, some of them are bad which are responsible for teeth and gum diseases.

When you fail to clean food particles, especially sugar and starch, certain bacteria start to interact with those and form plaque on teeth.

You may not notice it at the early stage. You can realize when it gets thick and turns into tartar. It looks like a yellowish or grayish hard mass.

Normally plaque is formed on teeth. But, with braces plaque forms more rapidly as tooth cleaning is much more difficult braces.

So, if you don’t brush your teeth properly, you’ll have an excessive amount of plaques and tartars on the teeth and the gumline.

This plaque and bacterial action cause further damage to teeth and gums in the future. This will also give you an ugly look.

Check out how to eat with braces.

2. Tooth decay

As not brushing teeth with braces causes more and more food debris and plaque to accumulate on teeth, this makes oral condition favorable for bacteria to tooth cavities or decay.

When bacteria get food particles containing sugar s or carbohydrates, they digest them and form acid. This acid destroys tooth enamel.

When you clean your teeth and there is less amount of debris and plaque, there is less amount of acid. Destruction of enamel by this acid can be restored by teeth and saliva.

But, when there is an excessive amount of debris and plaque, more acid is formed by bacteria. Over time it causes more damage to teeth which can’t be restored.

As a result, you get a hole in the tooth, called tooth decay or caries.

You have to be more cautious if you are braces wear, as it’s hard to remove debris from all surfaces of teeth with braces.

With that, if you don’t brush your teeth regularly, you should be ready for serious consequences.

3. Inflammation of gums

Poor oral hygiene with braces leads to serious problems not only to your teeth but also to your gums.

Not cleaning mouth or not brushing teeth regularly with braces causes excessive deposition of plaque, tartar, and bacteria to the gumline and between the teeth.

This results in inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis.

In this condition, gum pain and bleeding occur. This can cause serious complications if you left it untreated.

4. Loose teeth

In severely poor oral hygiene cases or untreated gingivitis cases, it turns into periodontitis which will be the worst scenario for you.

This is the inflammation of the tissue which holds the teeth, called the periodontium. In this case, you’ll develop the loosening of the tooth. This may lead to falling out of the tooth.

5. Teeth discoloration and stains

Tooth turns yellow or gets a stain from braces if you don’t brush your teeth.

As we discussed, the formation of more plaque and tartar change the color of teeth. Your teeth look yellow or brown.

When you have tooth decay, there is a white or gray spot at first. Then gradually it turns into a blackish spot.

Eating acidic and sugary drinks and foods also cause tooth staining. They do the chemical reactions with teeth and discolor them.

So, if you aren’t cleaning these from teeth and braces, you are at risk of teeth discoloration.

Check our other article to know about the reasons for braces stains and prevention.

6. Bad breath

After the deposition of carbohydrate food debris on teeth, bacteria start the fermentation process. This not only forms acid and plaques but also causes bad breath.

Therefore, not brushing teeth and not cleaning those debris result in foul-smelling breath.

How to brush and clean teeth with braces to avoid the effects

While wearing braces, you need to be more careful about oral hygiene. So, you should follow the proper ways of cleaning teeth with braces. You should follow these-

1. Brush your teeth twice a day at least.

You must brush your teeth at least two times a day regularly to prevent any of the effects we have described here. If you can brush your teeth 3 times a day, especially after each meal.

2. Use an electric toothbrush or soft bristle toothbrush.

You must use a soft-bristle toothbrush so that it can’t hurt the braces. Moreover, don’t apply too much pressure on your teeth while brushing.

You should get an electric toothbrush for braces that has an ADA seal and best for braces. An electric toothbrush can remove plaque and food debris more effectively from braces and teeth and help you maintain better oral hygiene.

3. Use fluoridated toothpaste.

You have to use fluoridated toothpaste while wearing braces. Fluoride helps prevent tooth caries and reduce plaque formation.

However, be careful of using whitening products like whitening toothpaste or strips with braces. They can make your teeth color uneven.

4. Take two minutes to brush your teeth every time.

You must take at least two minutes to clean all the surface of teeth and braces.

5. Learn the proper way of brushing teeth with braces

To avoid damage to its component and clean teeth thoroughly, you must know the proper method of brushing teeth with braces.

6. Rinse your mouth every time after taking food or drinks.

When you rinse your mouth after a meal, it removes most of the food debris easily or softens them and makes it easier for the toothbrush to clean your teeth completely.

7. Floss your teeth at least once a day

Use water floss or regular floss and floss your teeth at least once a day. Try to do it after dinner and before brushing your teeth.

Flossing is mandatory while wearing braces because brushing can’t reach some areas of your teeth that a flosser can.

You can check out the best water flosser or manual flossers for braces.

You should also know about the effect of not flossing with braces.


When you don’t brush your teeth with braces, you are at risk of developing excess plaque and tartar, gum inflammation, tooth decay, tooth loosening, and tooth staining.

So, you should follow all instructions regarding maintaining and cleaning of braces to prevent these from happening.