Great oral hygiene is always important, but it’s absolutely essential if you’re wearing braces! After all, cavities or gum disease can throw off your treatment or seriously damage your smile. That’s why it’s critical that you practice a thorough dental routine that includes flossing. However, while brushing with braces is relatively straightforward, flossing around wires and brackets takes some practice. Use these five tips for flossing with braces to keep your smile strong and sparkling as you straighten your teeth!
Tip #1: Start with Waxed Floss or Dental Tape
To make flossing more comfortable, try a high-quality waxed floss. This type of floss is coated in a thin layer of biocompatible wax that helps it slide effortlessly between your teeth. Alternatively, you may want to start with dental tape. This ultra-thin ribbon is smooth, spongy, and wider than typical floss, making it an ideal choice for those with sensitive gums.
Tip #2: Use a Floss Threader
A floss threader is a thin plastic loop that you put a piece of floss through. Then, you thread the flosser between your teeth underneath your wires and pull the floss through. With a bit of floss on each side of your teeth now, you can floss as usual! You’ll need to thread the floss between each tooth with the threader. While this may take some extra time, removing the plaque and bacteria buildup that can potentially delay your treatment is well worth it!
Tip #3: Try Orthodontic or Interdental Brushes
Not all toothbrushes are the same. Some are designed specifically for those with braces. These toothbrushes have criss-cross bristles that can more easily brush around wires and brackets. Interdental brushes are tiny brushes that can fit underneath braces wires. While these brushes don’t replace flossing, they certainly work very well in tandem.
Tip #4: Consider Investing in a Water Flosser
A water flosser uses a thin, steady stream of water to clean away plaque, bacteria, and food debris. The water stream can clean areas that a toothbrush can’t reach and help clear away some particles from flossing areas as well. As if that weren’t enough, the splash of cool water is a great way to relieve any dental soreness or soft tissue irritation your braces may be causing.
Tip #5: Start Using Mouthwash
If you don’t already rinse with mouthwash regularly, now is the perfect time to start. After brushing and flossing, a quick rinse with mouthwash will wash away any lingering particles you may have missed. Make sure to pick an ADA Approved product that is antibacterial, fluoridated, or specially designed for orthodontics. In addition, be sure to choose a non-alcoholic mouthwash to make rinsing more comfortable and to keep your mouth from drying out.
Flossing with braces may seem a little bit complicated at first, but don’t give up! This essential part of your daily dental routine will keep your teeth healthy, strong and sparkling while they’re being straightened.
About the Practice
At Simply Orthodontics in Rutland, we’re proud to offer a variety of orthodontic services for smiles of all ages. Our personalized treatments are designed to help you achieve optimal oral health and a more beautiful smile as efficiently as possible. From our state-of-the-art dental technology to our friendly and dedicated team, we strive to make achieving your ideal smile as pleasant an experience as possible. To learn more, we can be contacted via our website or at (508) 471-5556.