The Timothy Foley DDS, M.CI.D, FRCD(C) team knows that oral hygiene is important, whether you have braces on your teeth or not. But if you are a person who wears braces, caring for your teeth and gums can become somewhat challenging. Without daily oral hygiene practices, you may become prone to cavities and tooth decay during your time in braces.
Naturally, you know that brushing your teeth each morning and night, as well as after you eat, will help keep your mouth healthy and clean during the months you wear braces. But flossing is also an important part of your hygiene routine. Flossing with braces can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Dr. Timothy Foley, your general dentist, or your dental hygienist can help you become more comfortable and adept at flossing your teeth during the months you wear braces.
Choosing the Right Flossing Tools for Braces
Waxed Floss for Braces
first, make sure you buy waxed floss. This gives it a more slippery texture so it can slide between your wires and teeth easily. It is also less likely to split apart into threads and get caught on the metal pieces in your mouth.
Waterpiks for Braces
Alternatively, you can invest in a water flosser, also known as an oral irrigator. This handy tool uses a strong, thin stream of water to blast plaque and food particles out from between teeth. Though this option is a bit more expensive, it is better at getting into hard to reach places and helps avoid sore, inflamed gums.
How to Floss with Braces
Getting braces put on means learning all-new ways to care for your teeth. One of the hardest things to master is flossing. Flossing can be difficult to get right even without braces, but don’t get discouraged! Just follow these steps and you’ll be a pro in no time.
Use the Floss Threader Orthodontic Tool
A floss threader is a small, plastic needle that will help you floss between the wires and your teeth. Thread a 12-to-18-inch piece of floss onto the needle, and use the needle to get the floss easily behind the wires.
Floss Under Your Braces Wires
Once the floss is behind the wires, use your hands to manipulate the floss. Move it up and down along the wires to remove food particles.
Floss Between Your Teeth
Floss between your teeth as you normally would without braces. Move the floss up and down between your teeth in a “scrubbing” motion, using a clean section of floss for each tooth. Move on to your next set of teeth and so on until you have scrubbed between all your teeth on the top and bottom. Flossing should take longer with braces than it does normally, so remember not to rush. Taking your time to show your teeth some extra TLC is essential when you have braces.
Finish with Waterpik or Proxy Brush
Your orthodontist may have suggested that you use a water pik or proxy brush after you finish brushing. Either of these tools will help remove any loosened food particles to ensure that your teeth and braces are clean.
Flossing should take longer with braces than it does normally, so remember not to rush. Taking your time to show your teeth some extra TLC is essential when you have braces.
Continue Good Oral Hygiene Habits Even After Braces
Good oral hygiene habits you use while wearing braces will help you achieve the beautiful smile you and the Timothy Foley DDS, M.CI.D, FRCD(C) team have been working toward. Once your braces are off, it may be tempting to slack off on the brushing and flossing. Don’t let yourself fall into any habits that will have a negative impact on your oral health or the attractive smile you waited for throughout the months you wore braces. See your general dentist for regular cleanings, and continue to brush and floss your teeth each day.