Statistics show that more than four million Americans wear braces to correct imperfect teeth. While braces can and do provide a beautiful smile, they can also lead to other oral issues if wearers do not follow proper hygiene, especially brushing and flossing.
Flossing with braces is often a difficult process, but it’s a very important step to follow.
All of the following methods can provide effective flossing. If you have any questions about any method listed here, our team at the Toothbar is happy to help.
The floss needs to be placed between the wire and your teeth. Once in place, wrap the floss ends around your index fingers, and gently slide it in between two teeth. Move in an upside-down “U,” bringing the floss up the side of one tooth up to the gums, and down the side of the other tooth. Gently pull the floss from behind the braces and move to the next set of teeth.
Using traditional floss for braces can be effective, but it is also more difficult. The floss might break and get stuck in the braces. You can minimize the chances of this by using waxed floss. You also have to be careful not to pop your wires.
A floss threader is a tool that is similar to a sewing needle that you can use to simplify traditional flossing.
Superfloss is another way to simplify traditional flossing that does not require threading the floss. It is made with a stiff end that you can more easily slide in between your teeth. You simply push it through to the flossy side, and then begin flossing.
A water flosser provides flossing without actual floss. While it can be effective on its own, it’s recommended that you brush your teeth and brackets first to loosen any present particles. Then, follow these steps:
For more cleansing benefits, add mouthwash to the water reservoir.
An orthodontic flosser is similar to those found in disposable packs of dental flossers but is made with narrower sides to slide them behind the wires. Orthodontic flossers come with either straight or bent handles for ease. Some come with a fuzzy end that you can use to brush your brackets.
To use an orthodontic flosser, you gently slide it between your teeth. Move the flosser from side to side to clean each tooth.
As with any other cleaning method, this one has its pros and its cons:
In the end, it comes to a personal preference deciding which one is better for you.
If you need braces or currently have them, it’s important to choose a quality dental practice to help you obtain and maintain your investment. At the Toothbar, we are committed to providing every patient with the best Austin restorative dentistry for their needs. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.
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