How to clean dental braces

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How to clean dental braces
Keep your braces bacteria free. (Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images)

Braces in your mouth can collect food particles, saliva and other items that may carry or breed germs. Eventually this will leave a nasty taste in your mouth and cause bad breath. Dirty braces also can cause yeast infections, bacterial endocarditis, upper respiratory track infections, wound infections, meningitis and gastrointestinal infections. Avoid problems by regularly cleaning your braces.


  1. 1

    Remove your braces and rinse them thoroughly. Place in a shallow container of dental cleaner. Soak for a minimum of 15 minutes.

  2. 2

    Scrub your braces with a toothbrush and toothpaste until clean. Remove all the plaque from the braces and rinse.

  3. 3

    Soak the braces in a shallow container of mouthwash to freshen it and remove any lingering odor. Allow the braces to soak all day when you can. If you must wear them most of the time, soak them overnight or for at least 2 hours.

  4. 4

    Take your braces to the dentist for a professional cleaning if you are unable to remove all the plaque. You may need a replacement. Clean your braces regularly to prevent this from occurring.

Tips and warnings

  • Clean your braces daily when you brush your teeth.
  • Never soak plastic braces in an alcohol-based mouthwash or denture cleaner unless they are specified for braces, or your braces may crack and break.

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