How to Floss Your Teeth With Braces
Wearing braces often means that there will be challenges ahead with brushing and flossing. Flossing is often considered one of the hardest parts of working with braces, as the wires and brackets used to align the teeth often get in the way of the areas in between the teeth. The floss can easily get stuck along the wires, pieces of floss can be cut off, and at the worst moments, attempting to floss can even cause the wires and brackets to fall out if they’re not properly placed. However, if your orthodontist has told you anything, then you know that flossing is even more crucial than ever for your teeth.
Orthodontic braces need constant care to help align the teeth over time and prevent the onset of oral disease. In particular, cavities and gum disease present an even higher risk for those with braces. But how true is this statement? We’re here to explore how people with braces are vulnerable to these diseases and provide you with some better ways to floss your teeth if you have braces.
Why Flossing is An Essential Part of Orthodontic Care
Braces are a useful tool at an orthodontists’ disposal because it allows people to align their teeth over time and reduce the risk of oral diseases. However, one of the biggest questions is if wearing braces makes people more vulnerable to the diseases they’re trying to prevent. What we do know is that the brackets and wires used to align people’s teeth over time will often take years, and for those not used to wearing braces, it can become difficult to maintain their oral health. If they’re unable to brush and floss their teeth, bacteria and food particles will easily build up along the brackets and wires, creating an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Even with this high risk, those with misaligned teeth have an even higher risk of oral diseases. Some studies cite that patients who received orthodontic treatment have a decreased risk of cavity development when compared to those with misaligned teeth. This is due to how for those with misaligned teeth, the grooves, fissures, and impacted teeth create deeper pockets where bacteria can grow and develop, while teeth straightening under braces will have a lesser impact due to the alignment process.
Tips For Flossing Your Teeth With Braces
Because oral diseases are highly multi-faced, people wearing braces still have a risk of cavities and gum disease if they don’t floss. If you wear braces, you can keep your teeth healthy through these tips:
- Orthodontic Floss Threader: Orthodontic flossers are the most assured way to get behind the wire and clean in between the teeth. You can find them in your local store or at your orthodontist’s office.
- Wax-Covered Floss: Using traditional wax floss may be difficult to work with, but as long as you thread it behind the wire, you can perform the back and forth motion that allows you to fully clean your teeth.
If you’re having issues cleaning your teeth or other problems associated with braces, your orthodontist will be able to help you.