Oral hygiene is should never be ignored, especially if you’re on the way to a brand new, perfectly aligned smile thanks to the use of orthodontics. While it may be a little more complicated to brush and floss with braces, it becomes much more necessary for you to do so thoroughly because plaque and food particles easily accumulate amongst all the brackets and wires.
Flossing regularly helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay, so here are a few tips and tricks on how to floss with braces to make the process easier and faster.
Flossing the traditional way
The most common flossing techniques are great ways to clean food and plaque from between teeth, but threading the floss around your braces can definitely require some more time and patience.
First, give yourself 10 to 15 minutes to floss if you decide on this method, for which the only tool you’ll be needing is waxed floss. Unwaxed floss tears and gets stuck around the brackets much more easily so it’s best to avoid.
After cutting an 18 to 24-inch piece of floss, thread it between the main wire and your teeth while facing a mirror, so you can make sure the floss is going where you want it to. Wrap the ends of the floss around your index finger for better handling and gently press it between the two teeth, sliding up and down along the sides.
When doing the top teeth, it helps to make an upside-down U shape, going up the side of one tooth to the gumline and then going down the side of the other tooth. Remove the floss and un-thread it carefully from behind the wire, avoiding any popping since you could end up knocking the wire out of the bracket accidentally. Now move on to the next pair of teeth and repeat.
Choose a special tool
There are certain special tools in the market designed to improve the way you do your oral hygiene such as water flossers, floss threaders and dental tape.
A water flosser cleans between the teeth and along the gum line using a steady stream of water.
One of them can cost around $50 and with this device you can floss in less than 5 minutes.
For a more inexpensive solution though, you can choose a floss threader, a tool that can be found in almost any place that sells toothbrushes and regular floss. This small, plastic item can help you floss behind the wires easily and save a few minutes out of your dental care routine.
Dental tape is ideal for more sensitive teeth because it’s thinner than typical floss and wider, like a ribbon, which makes it more smooth and easier to glide between the teeth.
Other tips and tricks for a better hygiene
Other than regular flossing, there are a few good practices use to take extra care of your smile while wearing braces. Regular cleanings scheduled every three months with a professional dentist are suggested to take advantage of a deep cleaning, and an electric brush can give you better results than a manual one.