Traditional braces are one of the effective and time-tested options for straightening crooked teeth. While braces can correct even the most complicated orthodontic problems, they do carry some drawbacks. One of the most common problems braces wearers often face is the difficulty to clean their teeth. This is due to the hindrance created by the orthodontic wire and bracket itself, which prevents the bristles of the toothbrush – or the thread of the dental floss – to remove the plaque and food particles from the tight spaces between the teeth.
If are you also facing the same problem, you are not alone. Almost all braces wearers have this problem. But the good thing is that there are ways in which you still maintain optimal oral hygiene with braces. Continue reading to find out more.
How To Floss With Braces With Threader?
Using the traditional dental floss with a threader can be a bit tricky for individuals who wear braces. Here are a few steps that you should follow to ensure optimal cleaning with dental if you wear metal braces:
- Cut an 18-24 inch long piece of floss.
- Pass the floss between the orthodontic wire and your teeth. In this way, the wire will no longer be a hindrance while you are flossing.
- Wrap the ends of the floss around your index fingers. This makes it easier to handle the floss.
- Gently press the floss on the side of a tooth and move it upwards. Afterwards, press it against the other side of the tooth and bringing it all the way down – thus making a U-shaped manoeuvre.
- Once you are done, gently pull the floss out from behind the orthodontic wire, taking care not to apply too much force to pop the wire or bracket out.
- Do the same process for the remaining teeth
How To Floss With Braces Without Threader?
If you do not like to use threaded floss for cleaning your teeth, don’t worry; there are other type of floss you can use. One of the commonly used alternatives is the Waterpik. A Waterpik does the same thing that traditional floss does; the only difference is that it does not have any threads as it is much easier to use. The Waterpik generates a pressurised water stream that is aimed at the teeth and is used to remove plaque deposits from the teeth and the interdetnal spaces. According to the American Dental Association, a Waterpik can be a suitable option for physically or mentally challenged individuals who cannot use the traditional floss or the ones who are wearing braces.
How To Floss With Braces With Floss Picks?
While a Waterpik is an excellent alternative to traditional floss, it is expensive and may not be affordable by everyone. Another thread floss alternative is the floss pick. While the floss pick has to be used manually like the conventional thread floss, it is much easier to use for the ones who have braces. To use a floss pick:
- Hold the floss by its handle and locate the thinner of the two arms of the floss.
- Aim the thinner arm of the floss between the tooth and the brackets so that thread enters the interdental space. If the thinner arm cannot enter the space, don’t use excessive force, as it may dislodge your wire or brackets.
- Once the thread is between the two teeth, gently clean each side of the tooth by using a C-shaped movement while caring not to apply too much force.
- When you are done, move on to the following interdental site.
How To Use An Interdental Brush?
An interdental brush is designed so that its bristles can easily penetrate the tight spaces between the teeth to remove plaque deposits and food debris. It is beneficial for individuals who have braces. To use an interdental brush:
- Insert the brush between your teeth, making sure the bristles penetrate the interdental region
- Clean the area while applying gentle forces. If you use too much force, it may lead to gum recession and tooth sensitivity.
- You can do this for the front and back sides of the teeth until all the teeth have been cleaned.
The National Health Service recommends flossing at least once a day to maintain optimal oral hygiene.
Flossing With Braces Hurt, Why Is This?
If you feel pain or discomfort while flossing, you are not doing it correctly. Flossing should be a painless procedure. One of the reasons for experiencing discomfort while flossing is the use of excessive force. Dental floss should be gently placed over the teeth for cleaning. Using too much force while flossing should be avoided as it can damage your gums.
Is It Okay Not Floss With Braces?
Brushing your teeth often becomes challenging when wearing braces. That is why the Oral Health Foundation recommends using additional oral hygiene products to up your oral health game with braces. It is also essential that you floss regularly with braces as they are vital in removing plaque from between the teeth and preventing dental problems like periodontitis and bad breath.
How To Get Rid Of Gingivitis With Braces
The simples solution to get rid of gum inflammation with braces is to ensure good oral hygiene. In addition to brushing and flossing, you may also use an interdental brush, a Waterpik and fluoridated toothpaste or mouthwash to prevent dental problems like teeth cavities and periodontal inflammation.
Will My Gums Go Back To Normal After Braces?
If you look after your oral health, your gums will remain healthy even when you wear braces. However, if you do have mild gum inflammation during your orthodontic treatment, your gums will go back to their healthy state once your treatment is complete – provided you ensure meticulous oral hygiene.
It is imperative that you look after your oral health while wearing braces. Poor oral health will not only cause problems like tooth cavities, gum recession, and sensitivity but may also affect the progress of your orthodontic treatment. At Glen Dental, we look after the teeth and gums of our orthodontic patients regularly, so they can enjoy pearly white, healthy teeth once their treatment is complete. Are you looking for an orthodontic practice in Leicester?
Glen Dental is at your service! We offer all dental services in a comfortable and relaxing environment – under one roof. So, book an appointment with us today and let us help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.