Why is flossing with braces so important?
Everyone knows that daily flossing is essential for a healthy smile, but it’s even more critical with braces. Teeth brushing alone isn’t enough to remove all of the food particles which get trapped in brackets and wires after every meal, and it won’t always reach the spaces around the braces. Poor oral hygiene with braces can eventually lead to bad breath, plaque and tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Using a floss threader with braces
Using regular dental floss with braces is possible, but it can be slow and tedious. This is where an inexpensive but indispensable tool comes in handy: a floss threader. To use, simply loop an 18 to 24-inch piece of regular wax-coated dental floss through the threader, and use the stiff end to direct the floss beneath the wire. Once it’s under the wire, floss as normal, gliding the floss up and down between teeth and gums. Floss threaders are readily available at most supermarkets and pharmacies in the dental care section.
Using a water flosser or oral irrigator with braces
Investing in a water flosser or oral irrigation system will cut flossing time down to about three to five minutes. These devices jet a steady stream of water to clean between teeth and along the gumline. Some models even offer special tips for orthodontia.
Tips on keeping teeth clean with braces
- Brush at least three times a day for at least four minutes. Use a proximal or interdental brush to reach underneath wires.
- Always use wax-covered dental floss. Unwaxed floss tends to catch in braces, and shred.
- Don’t use a whitening toothpaste. This will only whiten exposed parts of the teeth, causing uneven coloring when braces are removed.
- Consider an electric toothbrush. Even without braces, electric toothbrushes clean more thoroughly than manual toothbrushes.
Schedule regular checkups and cleanings
While undergoing orthodontic treatment, regular dental cleanings are just as important as ever. Ideally, they should be scheduled at least once every three months for a thorough deep cleaning and to prevent staining around the brackets and wires.
We at 8 to 8 Dental in Edwardsville, IL ensure teeth remain healthy during orthodontic treatment with comprehensive exams, cleaning and preventive care, while at the same time focusing on enhancing bite and alignment. Our team has one goal: to help our customers achieve the confident, healthy smile they deserve.