Why Do Braces Appear Dirty?


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Dear Dr. Barakat,

My son is getting ready to get braces. As a teacher, I see kids with braces that often don’t look clean. What tips can you offer my son on how to keep his braces clean?


Dear Concerned Parent,

It’s true! Braces offer new places for food to stick to or become lodged. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep them as clean as possible throughout the day with a few extra steps.

At Barakat Orthodontics, we suggest using interdental cleaners after snacks and lunch to clean the spaces between the brackets where food is commonly lodged. These cleaners look like tiny tapered toothbrushes — easy to pack in a lunch box or backpack. Also, rinsing with mouthwash or even tap water can dislodge stubborn food particles.

Lastly, flossing every night (or using a water pick/water flosser) will help reduce the amount of plaque that builds between teeth, which acts as an adhesive for food particles or colored drink stains. During orthodontic treatment, applying these few extra steps can keep your smile and your braces sparkling!


Dr. Rana Barakat, a board-certified specialist in Orthodontics, has been proudly serving Northern Virginia for more than 20-years! She has built her practice on a personal touch and excellent treatment.

As a parent, she understands wanting the best for your children by giving them beautiful, confident smiles. She makes it a priority to ensure optimal results, but also believes that each patient’s experience during treatment is just as important as the clinical result. As the 2015-16 President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Barakat’s dedication and expertise reflect why her peers continue to nominate her as a Top Dentist.

Barakat Orthodontics is located at 45745 Nokes Blvd., Ste. 175, Sterling, VA 20166. Connect by visiting them online, or get social with them on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Barakat Orthodontics can also be reached at (703) 433-9330.


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