Maintaining proper oral hygiene becomes even more important when you get braces because the lack of care can increase the risk of teeth and gum issues. Normally, the saliva cleanses the remaining food debris from tooth surfaces. However, there is a higher risk of plaque accumulation when you have braces because the food remnants often get stuck between wires and brackets. For this reason, following proper brushing and flossing techniques is crucial to maintain oral health. In this article, we will discuss different strategies for flossing your teeth to keep your teeth and gums in a healthy condition.
Benefits of Flossing
Flossing requires the use of a thin, waxed thread to gently clean the areas between your teeth and gums. These hard-to-reach areas cannot be cleaned by brushing alone. Particularly in the case of braces, food remnants can get stuck between your teeth and cause gingival irritation. Flossing your teeth once a day can help to clear away these food debris and plaque deposits. Brushing and flossing regularly also aids in keeping your wires and brackets clean, which is essential to prevent further dental issues.
Conventional Flossing Technique
Most people use a thin, wax-covered thread to floss their teeth. Although the conventional technique of flossing is easy to follow, it can be a little tricky for people with braces. You can quicken the process of flossing by using a floss threader. This small tool helps easily slide the floss thread behind the braces wire. The steps to floss your teeth with braces are as follows:
- Cut out an 18 to 24-inch piece of floss.
- Pull one end of the floss through the eye of the floss threader and keep the other end between your fingers.
- Gently slide the floss threader behind the main wire. It will allow the floss thread to pass smoothly, which may take longer if done with fingers.
- Once the floss thread is in place, hold both ends tightly between your fingers and slide it up and down in a to-and-fro motion.
- After completing, gently pull the floss thread from behind the teeth.
- Insert the thread again in the floss threader to clean the next set of teeth.
Using a Waterpik
Waterpik is the latest technology that releases a thin stream of water to clean the areas between your teeth and gums. Compared to traditional flossing, Waterpik is easier to use and takes much less time.
The steps to floss your teeth with a Waterpik are as follows:
- Fill the water reservoir of the machine with water. Adding a small amount of mouthwash can provide antibacterial benefits.
- Place the tip on the water flosser and check the pressure to make sure it is adequate.
- Turn on the water flosser and lean over your sink to avoid spilling water. Guide the water stream along your gum line for proper cleansing.
- You can also use the Waterpik to clean around your brackets.
If you have any trouble flossing your teeth with braces, our dentists at Aava Dental can provide a live demonstration to make it easier to understand. Choose a flossing technique that offers efficient cleaning and matches your budget and time availability. Contact us at (818) 792 4500 for further information.