A beautiful smile is a great confidence booster, and braces are a fantastic way to create a beautiful, healthy smile for you or your child. They are one of the most popular and well-used treatments for the correction of crooked and gapped teeth, over and underbites, misaligned jaw positions, and other disorders of the jaw.
It may take a little getting used to when you first get your braces. It will take a little extra effort at first, but in time you will be able to keep your braces and teeth clean and healthy.
Below are tips to help you maintain good oral hygiene when wearing braces.
When you get a new set of braces, flossing may be at the top of the list of things you’ll have to readjust in your regular dental hygiene routine.
Now that you have a mouthful of wires, brackets, and rubber bands, bacteria, and food particles have brand new places to hide. If not cleaned properly, these particles will make themselves right at home, causing plaque buildup. If this plaque isn’t removed, it will lead to bleeding gums and cavities, and overtime possible tooth loss and gingivitis.
Fortunately, there are several ways to make flossing easier when maintaining good oral health with braces.
1. Choose a thin, waxed dental floss
Now that you have braces, you may be wondering if you can still use dental floss. The answer is yes, but it must be the kind that is thin and waxed. If you choose a floss that is too thick, it can get stuck because it is too wide to pass between the gaps in your teeth and the wires. An unwaxed floss also tends to get stuck and break, leaving you with a mouthful of string to pick out. Be sure to always use a piece of floss that is long enough to ensure the proper amount of slack to easily maneuver around your wires. At least 18 inches is recommended.
2. Use an Orthodontic Floss Threader
Pulling floss through your teeth while working around wires and brackets can be frustrating. There’s a neat little device that is readily available in stores called a floss threader. It’s a simple, rigid yet flexible device that is very similar to the eye of a basic sewing needle. You simply feed the floss through the loop, then pull the threader through your teeth to floss above the wire. Make sure to floss in every direction.
3. Use a water pick
A water pick works by shooting a thin, pressurized stream of water between your teeth. Using a water pick will not only clean away trapped food particles between your teeth and your braces, it will clean around your gum line as well, by easily passing water through the wires of your braces.
Although this relatively inexpensive tool will definitely make your oral hygiene routine much easier, it should be used as a compliment to flossing rather than the only way you floss daily.
Advice from Alpha Dental Clinic
Flossing is super important, but it is not the only thing you will need to do when it comes to basic oral hygiene when wearing braces.
Now that you have all that extra gear in your mouth, you should brush three times daily to ensure you remove any food that has become stuck in your wires and brackets. Be sure to brush using soft, gentle strokes in every direction around your brackets, teeth, and gum line. You should brush between 2-4 minutes every time you brush your teeth.
For younger children with braces, parents should help them with their basic oral hygiene…especially when it comes to flossing.
You’re invited to visit our orthodontic clinic and discover how Dr. Kandaleft can help you