Getting braces is an experience that none of us relish. Fortunately, those few years of inconvenience make it possible for you to have a more attractive smile that is easier to maintain and protect from tooth decay. If you can manage to take care of your teeth while your braces are in place. Flossing with braces correctly is at the top of that list.
Given that the brackets obscure a portion of each tooth, it is more important than ever to maintain a strict dental hygiene routine. If you don’t, you could end up with less positive results when your braces are removed. Flossing with braces in particular can be a real challenge, but there are a few techniques you can use to make it a lot easier.
At OC Dental Specialists, we offer braces in Irvine and full tips on how to maximize their benefits. Looking for a top dentist in Irvine? Look no further.
Getting the Right Tools
When it comes to flossing with conventional braces, there are two major issues, reaching the gumline and snagging. Luckily, two simple tools can essentially eradicate both issues. An orthodontic floss threader and waxed floss can make all the difference.
Orthodontic floss threaders are small, usually green objects that resemble a thin plastic needle with a much larger eye. They are highly flexible. All you have to do is put the floss through the eye and use the threader to gently push through the gap in your teeth near the gumline. Do not push the threader into the gum. Once you have pulled it through, your floss will follow it in. You can then remove the threader and proceed to floss normally along the gumline.
Choose Your Technique Carefully
You should be careful not to abruptly pull the floss up into the gum. Instead, gently guide your floss along the curve of the gum to help remove debris from under the edge. If you are experiencing bleeding when you floss, then contact your dentist. It could be a sign of gingivitis, or you may just need a quick lesson in flossing. Either way, speaking to a professional will help you to identify the problem and maintain your health long-term.
Waxed floss will also help by reducing the likelihood of snagging. No one wants to spend thirty minutes of their life desperately trying to remove smaller and smaller threads of floss from their braces. Waxed floss helps to hold the strands together, making it easier to guide the floss between your teeth and along the gum. This will reduce snags and make them easier to remove when they occasionally happen.
Flossing With Braces: Making Life Easier
Using a threader and waxed floss will significantly improve your ability to properly floss your teeth. However, if you are concerned about the effects of semi-permanent brackets and other limitations to your dental hygiene routine, then there are alternatives. Invisalign braces use clear, removable trays that allow you to eat and brush your teeth without any of the complications of conventional braces.
However, you still have to be careful even with Invisalign. The trays will need to be kept clean, and your teeth will need to be cleaned after eating or drinking before you replace the trays. It is suggested that you wear Invisalign 20-22 hours per day in order to achieve the best results, so you will want to carry a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss with you if you are going to be away from home. Both conventional braces and Invisalign come with their own set of challenges, so it is essential that you consider which system best fits your current lifestyle.
A Specialist Who Can Help
If you have trouble deciding or have further questions regarding how to take care of your teeth while wearing braces or Invisalign, you can always talk to your orthodontist at OC Dental Specialists. They will help you determine which option is best for you and put together a plan to keep your teeth healthy throughout the entire process.