Maintaining pristine oral hygiene is crucial for any patient, but even more so for patients with orthodontics, as you run a higher risk of developing gum disease, enamel scarring, bad breath and even tooth loss if your oral hygiene is neglected.
Cleaning and flossing are just as (if not more) important to your daily dental routine when you have orthodontic braces. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy will massively reduce the risk of dental problems later down the line and will keep your smile in perfect order!
With that being said, many patients with braces find flossing a little tricky, and others skip flossing out of their oral hygiene routine altogether. If you do have braces or are considering orthodontic treatments, you should be aware of the best ways to floss with braces. Keep reading to find out our top tips!
Take Your Time
Flossing can take much longer when you have braces, so you should expect to spend at least twice as long compared to when you didn’t have braces.
Our top tip with flossing is taking your time and not rushing, as you may damage and irritate the gums if your flossing is too harsh. Though it may be tedious to take your time and gently floss, it’s definitely worth it in the long run when your braces are removed and you’re left with straight teeth and healthy gums, and a lowered risk of gum disease.
Flossing (with or without braces) is about carefully manoeuvring the floss to avoid damaging the gums. Carefully flossing also means that you floss the correct way to rid the mouth of as much bacteria and food debris as possible.
In order to carefully floss between the teeth, you’ll want to thread under the main wire of the braces before moving between the two teeth. Gently move the floss up and down against the side of each tooth. You’ll then want to keep repeating these steps until you have reached every gap between your teeth.
In order to stay focused when flossing, we always advise flossing in front of a mirror. To ensure you are flossing carefully, you may prefer to ask your dentist to demonstrate in front of you to physically give you a better idea.
Floss threaders are flexible loops of material that make it easier to clean difficult to reach areas in the mouth. They are much easier to floss with compared to traditional floss when flossing with braces.
Floss threaders are fantastic for flossing with braces and makes it easy to pull floss behind the wire of your orthodontic braces. Using a floss threader can save several minutes compared with attempting to floss with traditional floss. Without a floss threader, flossing between braces would be difficult and time-consuming.
You can purchase floss threaders from your dentist (usually), from a supermarket or your local pharmacy. Along with regular brushing, floss threaders can help keep your mouth healthy throughout your orthodontic journey.
An oral irrigator, also known to many as a water flosser, is an oral care device that removes food, bacteria and plaque from between the teeth and gums with a pressurised stream of water. Water flossing can really enhance your oral care routine.
A huge benefit of water flossing is the convenience of flossing for those with orthodontic braces who would otherwise struggle with traditional floss.
Water flossing is proven to reduce gum disease and bleeding. It also makes it easier to floss correctly, as many patients are still unaware of the proper technique with traditional flossing.
We also recommend reading our guide to water flossing to find out more.
Straight and Healthy Teeth With Orthodontists in Essex
At Perfect Smile Spa, we provide our patients with the most pleasant dental experience to enable them to overcome any fears and maintain their teeth for the rest of their lives.
To maintain your oral care even with braces, you should ask your orthodontist for step-by-step advice if they haven’t already talked you through your maintenance.
In order to keep your teeth and gums healthy with braces, it’s absolutely vital that you visit a dental hygienist as regularly as your orthodontist recommends. And if you do notice any changes in your gums, teeth or mouth, it’s critical to visit your dentist for a dental hygiene visit as soon as possible.
Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our cosmetic dental treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.