If you have braces, the task of flossing is no longer as simple or straightforward as it used to be. However, don’t let the extra challenge keep you from doing the important job. Flossing your teeth while undergoing orthodontic treatment is especially important because you are far more likely to have trapped food particles in your brackets, bands or wires at the end of the day. Letting this debris hang out for too long can lead to plaque buildup, staining, cavities and gum disease.
There are special tools, such as water flossers, that can help you get this important task accomplished more easily. Flossing ensures you are left with a smile that is not only straight but healthy and bright too.
Here are five tips to help you get the hang of flossing with braces:
- Spend the Time: Now that you have braces, be prepared to spend three times as long on your oral care as you used to. Remember that this is time well spent, as you’ll set your smile up to look its best once you get your braces off.
- Use the Right Type of Floss: Choose waxed floss or a product that your orthodontist recommends for a better flossing experience. Unwaxed floss is more likely to get caught and shred in your braces.
- Use Enough Floss: You’ll have to account for a lot of weaving in and out of wires and teeth, so aim for about 18 inches of floss to begin your routine.
- Thread Carefully: Take the floss and carefully thread it under the main wire of the braces before you pass it between your teeth. Next, you need to remove the floss and re-thread it under the main wire to pass between the next pair of teeth. Be sure simply move it up and down gently against the side of each tooth, and don’t snap it down.
- Massage Those Gums: Your gums need extra attention while in braces, as it is super easy to get food particles and bacteria stuck. If you notice your gums are red and puffy, you may need to step up your game with your floss and toothbrush. You can gently massage your gums in between the teeth while you are flossing. If you see blood, then you may be not be flossing correctly or flossing enough. You can also use an electric toothbrush to massage your gums before or after flossing if you prefer.
If you are still not confident that you are flossing your teeth correctly while in braces, talk with your orthodontist. To learn more about taking care of your teeth and gums during orthodontic treatments, call Georgia Orthodontic & Children’s Dentistry.
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