Braces are a great tool for helping your smile look amazing. Without them, plenty of people would have to tolerate their smile as is. Thankfully these little metal brackets and wires can work wonders on a set of teeth.
But as wonderful as they are, they require a bit of maintenance. Once you get braces, your oral care completely changes — especially flossing.
Need some tips and tricks on how to floss with braces? Just keep reading!
Important Reasons to Floss With Braces
Flossing is important whether you have braces or not. However, it’s of the utmost importance when you do have them. For all the good they do, braces also capture more food and get in the way of brushing.
Therefore, going the extra mile with your oral care while undergoing your teeth-straightening treatment is essential. Here are more reasons not to skip on flossing.
Prevent Gum Disease
One of the most vital reasons to floss is to avoid gum disease. Because braces create a barrier around the teeth, it could encourage gum disease if brushing and flossing are neglected.
Gum disease is a condition that has serious consequences. Not only is it painful, but it causes bleeding and makes your teeth rot down to the bone. Research has also shown that there’s a link between gum disease and heart disease.
The last thing you want to do is damage your braces. It would be an inconvenience to have to repair them in the middle of treatment. Nonetheless, bacteria and sugar can deteriorate your braces, primarily the bonding that glues them to the teeth.
Luckily, flossing can help to get rid of sugar and bacteria within the mouth.
Protect Against Tooth Decay
Braces block your toothbrush from reaching certain areas of your mouth. That means it’s easy for food and bacteria to get stuck in the crevices of your teeth. But flossing helps to remove debris and boost your oral health.
How to Floss With Braces: Multiple Methods
There isn’t just one way to floss with braces, so you have the option to choose which method is best for you. Check out these different techniques.
The traditional method of flossing is a fast and easy way to remove food and plaque from in between teeth. However, this technique is tricky for individuals with braces. It takes time and skill to thread floss around the brackets, but it’s doable.
Make sure you use waxed floss because unwaxed can rip and get stuck on your braces. Floss between your teeth as usual, but be extremely careful. Try not to pop the floss out, or you could potentially snap the wire out of place.
A Waterpik is one of the safest ways to floss with braces. It’s a braces flossing tool that sprays water to remove food from between the teeth and gumline. Unlike traditional floss, a Waterpik is roughly $50 or more.
However, it’s worth the price. It only takes a few minutes for it to thoroughly clean between your teeth, and it does it without the risk of damaging your braces.
Floss threaders are the ideal dental floss for braces. It’s a firm, yet flexible piece of places that’s designed to work around the framework of your braces. A floss threader can reach behind the wires and across the brackets.
Floss With Braces: Complete Oral Care
Although flossing with braces is very important, there are multiple steps you can take to upkeep your oral health. Before flossing, one of the primary things you must do is brush your teeth. Also, there are some tricks you can do at the dinner table to help out as well.
The best way to brush with braces is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hold it at a 45-degree angle as you clean above and below the brackets. To reach in between the braces, using a cone-shaped inter-ortho toothbrush works wonders.
You can also use an electric toothbrush. The head is small, which makes it easier to get in tight. Just be careful not to turn the speed up too high or brush too aggressively.
Choose a Knife and Fork
Unfortunately, having braces means altering the way you eat. Although it’s tempting to bite straight into a pizza or burger, don’t do it. Chomping into food is the quickest way to get it stuck in between your braces.
Instead, cut up your meals and eat them with a knife and fork. Obviously, some food will get jammed behind the wires, but not nearly as much.
Stay Away From Harmful Habits
Some habits are second nature, so you don’t realize you’re doing them. However, biting your nails or chewing on pens can easily sever your braces.
Even chomping on ice after drinking your beverage is risky. Try not to do anything that could potentially be damaging to your dental work.
Take Your Smile to the Next Level
Now that you understand how to floss with braces, you shouldn’t have any more difficulty with keeping them clean and debris-free!
Are you in need of more dental care options? If so, we’ve got covered. Our office has provided orthodontist services since 1989 and we’re still dedicated to improving smiles.
We offer a variety of treatments to suit everyone’s needs, including ceramic braces and Invisalign. If you’re interested in learning more, schedule a free exam with us today.
We look forward to connecting with you soon!