Flossing isn’t the most exciting part of your nightly routine, but it’s essential to your oral health. Maintaining that excellent oral health is an integral part of your orthodontic journey! Before we get into how to become an expert braces flosser, here’s some more information about why flossing is so critical in the first place. Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth to prevent gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. Flossing helps eliminate the accumulation of harmful bacteria and plaque resulting from food particles that get trapped between the teeth and under the gum line. These are places that the toothbrush can’t always reach!
Here’s What You’ll Learn:
- Why Flossing is Important
- How Often You Should Floss
- Why is Flossing so Important with Braces?
- What’s the Best Way to Floss with braces?
Why Flossing is Important
As we talked about before, flossing eliminates plaque in hard-to-reach places like under the gum line, under brackets, and between teeth. Flossing cleans these places and helps lessen the risk of cavities, bad breath, and gum disease. It’s just as important as brushing twice a day!
Flossing can also lessen your chances of heart disease and long-term tooth decay. Daily flossing is a large part of maintaining oral health and removing all plaque. Flossing also prevents development of tartar and serious periodontitis.
How Often You Should Floss
Generally, dental professionals recommend that you floss once daily. With braces or other appliances, there is an increased risk of food getting trapped between teeth. So, when brushing after meals, it’s important to floss as well if this occurs. If you’re out and about and can’t floss, you can swish water around your mouth to clean excess food particles.
Flossing is Important with Braces
When you get braces, there are some adjustments you’ll need to make to best keep your mouth healthy. From diet, to sports protection, to altering your nightly routine there are lifestyle changes in your future with braces! Braces and other orthodontic appliances create more hard-to-reach places for your toothbrush. All the risks we discussed above become more prevalent, and resulting health conditions can occur. Flossing is your best tool to make sure this doesn’t happen!
Poor flossing habits lead to many oral health problems down the road. With braces, the American Association of Orthodontics even recommends flowing before you brush!
What is the Best Way to Floss?
Make sure the floss is held securely or wrapped around your fingers. Having a firm grip allows you to have the most control over where the floss goes and how much pressure you apply! You don’t want to jam the floss in between each tooth with too much force or vigor. Vigorous flossing won’t produce positive results and will be uncomfortable or painful.
An important part of flossing hygiene is to use a clean section or piece of floss with each tooth. It’s so much cleaner and more hygienic than using the same little bit with every movement! Fortunately, floss is an inexpensive product, so you don’t need to be conservative with it.
These are great tips to follow not only with braces but with Invisalign as well. Good flossing can only be positive, so carrying this habit on after orthodontic care is essential.
Flossing with braces is more difficult than with Invisalign or before you started treatment. Luckily, numerous products are available to help you floss more effectively, like floss threaders, orthodontic floss, or a proxy brush. These tools are readily available at a local drugstore or by order from online marketplaces like Amazon. Your orthodontist can advise you as to which tools can help keep your oral health amazing!