When you first begin your orthodontic treatment, it can be difficult to get used to. The oral care routine you had before needs to be slightly modified to accommodate your new hardware, but it’s important to note that it’s worth it in the long-term. To remove plaque and stray food debris from teeth, flossing needs to be part of that routine.
With help from a dentist, flossing while wearing braces in Columbus will be much easier. Here are a few of his best tips!
Purchase the Right Tools for the Job
To start, make sure you are using waxed floss to clean your teeth and braces. Unwaxed floss is far more likely to catch onto the hardware and tear, making it useless. You may also benefit from purchasing very thin floss as your teeth become tighter over time, or for the small areas around the brackets.
You may also benefit from floss picks or brushes specifically designed to clean underneath the archwire and around the brackets. However, these options may be pricier, so try using floss first to see if they’re necessary. No matter what, the tool that helps you maintain the best oral health possible should be used.
Practice Proper Technique
When using floss for braces, you should pull out at least 18 to 24 inches at a time. You’ll need plenty of slack to hold onto the floss and move it around effectively. For your first time flossing, set aside 10 to 15 minutes so you can focus on reaching each tooth, bracket, and underneath the archwire.
Start by carefully threading the floss underneath the archwire and cleaning under the bracket before sliding in between your two teeth. Avoid snapping the floss upon removal. Instead, gently remove it, thread once more, and then continue onto the next pair of teeth.
To keep your teeth plaque and tartar free while wearing braces, floss at least once a day, preferably before bed. This will prevent bacteria you’ve collected throughout the day from multiplying in the hard-to-reach areas of your teeth.
Consider a Water Flosser for Extra Help
If you’re struggling to use floss or you’re a younger patient with braces, you may want to consider using an electric water flosser to remove food debris and plaque. This device uses a steady stream of water to clean the gum line, the cracks between teeth, and the hardware without risk of damage.
Not only are there attachments specifically designed for orthodontic devices, but you can use mouthwash instead of water for an additional layer of protection. Additionally, a water flosser can be faster than flossing and easier if you have issues with dexterity.
Looking for more advice on practicing oral care with braces? Schedule an appointment today!
About the Author
Dr. Amin Mason earned his certificate in orthodontics and Master of Science in Dentistry from the University of Colorado. He’s also a member of the American Association of Orthodontics and more than happy to help patients hone their oral care skills while undergoing treatment. To learn more about his practice, contact him through his website.