Getting braces is a major event — and many patients may tend to slack off on their usual oral care routines because of that. However, skipping a full flossing routine is one of the worst things that you can do for your oral health. Flossing properly requires time and concerted effort, even when you are not wearing braces. However, once you get your braces it’s imperative that you floss properly every day. Here’s what you need to know about flossing with braces — and why it’s so important that you do it.
Why Flossing With Braces is So Important
When you have braces on your teeth, a significant portion of your tooth enamel is covered up by brackets. In addition to that, you’ve got wires and rubber bands. All of these things combined to leave a multitude of small areas where food particles can get trapped. When you’re not wearing braces, food particles can still get trapped, usually between the teeth, but it’s far less likely to happen than it is when you’re wearing braces.
When food is trapped around your brackets, wires, or between your teeth, it quickly attracts bacteria. These bacteria are part of what makes up plaque. These bacteria are very dangerous because they produce acids, and they can penetrate the enamel and work their way into your tooth’s inner layer, the dentin. This is the cause of tooth decay and cavities. Uncontrolled tooth decay can become so bad that you need to get a root canal to preserve the rest of your healthy tooth. In the worst case scenario, you could actually lose teeth to severe decay.
More Reasons Why Flossing With Braces Matters
As you already know, wearing braces means that you’ll have a lot more areas for plaque to form. This can leave you even more vulnerable to the things that can go along with bacteria, including bad breath. While brushing your teeth twice a day (two minutes each time) can really help keep the bacteria away, toothbrushes cannot get between the teeth to remove the bacteria-containing plaque. The remaining bacteria can lead to bad breath
When you floss your teeth carefully while wearing braces, you can avoid developing cavities. Because of the added risks, it is more common to develop cavities during orthodontic treatment if care is not taken. If proper oral hygiene is maintained by brushing and flossing properly, and regular visits are kept with your general dentist and orthodontist, there is no reason any cavities should form, even during orthodontic treatment.
Your Technique: How to Floss With Braces Successfully
There’s no doubt that flossing with braces is quite a bit different than flossing without them. However, there are several things that you can do to make the process easier. First, Dr. Reddick and his team of orthodontics assistants can show you how to use floss threaders or Superfloss™. These tools are helpful to get the floss under the wire so you can clean properly.
There are special disposable flossers made for braces wearers, but they usually cannot reach all areas between the teeth. Every patient should find the way that best works for them. You should try to keep whatever tools you need nearby so you can floss regularly. Even if you’re not able to do a full-scale teeth cleaning routine while you’re out, a quick and careful flossing using a disposable flosser can go a long way towards keeping your teeth clean and bacteria-free until you’re able to do a complete and thorough cleaning at home.
Dr. Reddick may also have some other helpful tips to help you transition into flossing successfully while wearing braces. This is one of the simplest, but most effective, things that you can do to ensure good oral health before, during, and after you get your braces off.
Reddick Orthodontics offers the best in orthodontic care for all ages to Melbourne, Florida area patients. Book your free consultation with Dr. Reddick now.