Today, almost half of the population has embraced orthodontic treatment. Thus, braces are now more common. The thought of wearing braces can be daunting. Often, if you have braces, you have to incorporate extra tooth maintenance tips into your lifestyle. Cleaning your teeth while you have braces on is not a walk in the park. Orthodontists usually recommend certain brushing and flossing practices when you are wearing braces. You should never fail to floss your teeth if you have braces. Remember, braces tend to bring teeth close to each other. Thus, an ordinary toothbrush won’t reach all the food particles between the teeth. Only floss would be able to clean these areas. Flossing also helps you avoid the most common dental problems like cavities and gum diseases. So, how do you floss with braces?
Another flossing device that your orthodontist will recommend is a flosser threader. If you have been to a dentist, you must have seen a flosser threader. It incorporates a thin thread that allows you to run it in between your teeth smoothly. You can always find this appliance at a supermarket or your dentist’s office.
How to use a floss threader to floss with braces
- When using a floss threader, find and pull the thread from its floss container.
- Then, hold the floss threader firmly and use your fingers or finger to encompass the thread in between each tooth. Move the thread in an upward and downward movement to get rid of all food particles. Do this carefully for each tooth. Also, focus on the gumlines, across the brackets, and behind the brace wires.
Using a Waterpik or an oral irrigator
One of the ways to floss your teeth is by using an oral irrigator. What this oral appliance does is that it thoroughly cleans the area between your teeth using water. Unlike the standard tooth cleaning procedure, the Waterpik reaches the area near and beneath the brackets. So, how do you use regular Waterpik?
How to floss with a Waterpik
In most cases, an oral irrigator contains a place to fill water. Since the appliance is a water flosser, the first step would be to fill the Waterpik with water. Feel free to mix the water with an oral solution or mouthwash suitable for your teeth.
- Then, go to the sink area, or basically where you brush your teeth. Bend towards the sink and put the end part of the floss in your mouth.
- Switch on the Waterpik and close your mouth. This way, you can hold the water flosser in your mouth and allow it to perform its function. Even so, don’t swallow the water. Gently let the water cascade from your mouth to the sink.
- Use the Waterpik to floss every part of your teeth and the areas around your gumline.
- Feel free to brush your teeth when flossing. Doing this would help you eliminate all the food particles.
- Continue flossing your teeth until you complete flossing each tooth.
- After you complete this process, get rid of the remaining water in the Waterpik and allow it to dry. Then, store it in a cool, dry place.
How to use dental tape to floss with braces
If you have just started to floss with braces, you may experience inflammation at times. But with time, your teeth will get used to it. Alternatively, use dental tape. This oral device is smooth and gentle on the teeth. Thus, it is perfect for people with sensitive gums and teeth.
Practices to observe when you floss with braces
Avoid using tooth whiteners
When you have braces on, avoid using tooth whiteners. So, if you are using a teeth whitening toothpaste, please save it for later. But why? Teeth whitening toothpaste tends to reach the area underneath the brackets. Thus, after two to three years, your teeth would have some discolorations when you remove your braces. As much as you floss with braces, you would notice some discolorations.
Use an electric toothbrush
Consider using an electric toothbrush if you have braces. They are more user-friendly and effective. But always consult your orthodontist before purchasing an electric toothbrush. But if you decide to buy one, note that they are more expensive than the regular toothbrush.
Clean your teeth regularly
Besides using the right oral devices to floss with braces, always clean your teeth regularly. Brush your teeth at least once a day. Also, it is best to book professional tooth cleaning appointments with your dentist at least four times a year. This way, the area around your brackets will stay clean.
Braces are unique oral devices that can correct a wide range of orthodontic problems. But wearing braces comes with both high initial and lifetime costs. When you are wearing braces, there are various cleaning techniques you’ll have to incorporate. One of the significant teeth cleaning procedures you’ll have to incorporate is flossing. Several appliances can help you floss with braces. Each includes a unique process. So, when buying a flossing device, ensure you follow all your manufacturer’s instructions when using it. In turn, you’ll shorten the treatment period.