If you have traditional dental braces, you know their upkeep can be daunting. Knowing what to eat, what not to eat, how often to clean them, the tools you will need and more can all seem very overwhelming when you begin your orthodontic treatment. It is true that braces require patience, time, and careful attention. However, the rewards of taking proper care of your braces are worth the effort. In the end, your mouth will thank you! After the brackets have been removed, your smile will be straight and your gums will be healthy!
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One of the ways to make sure you are taking good care of your teeth while wearing braces is to floss properly. Do you know how to floss with braces? It is important to know how to do a superb job with this task because food can be easily caught in the brackets. The places where food gets stuck is where a plaque is able to build. Even if you are eating the right type of food that doesn’t hurt your braces, failing to floss properly could result in unhealthy gums. Braces make it especially easier for plaque to build because there are more surface area and crevices for the plaque to reach. Therefore, you should be prepared to spend more time flossing than you would before you got your braces. But as mentioned earlier, the end result will all be worth the process!
Flossing with braces will be a little more difficult than the normal morning routine because the metal brackets can form quite the barrier. Of course, it will take a bit of practice, but if you stick to it diligently, within one week you should get the hang of the task. Flossing will become second nature!
The first thing to note is that you should be flossing at least once a day, ideally, before you go to bed. You want to get rid of the plaque before you sleep and let it build up during the night. Most orthodontists recommend using waxed floss that can be purchased from a local drug store for pretty cheap. Your orthodontist might even give you a pack or two to start you off! Using unwaxed floss should be avoided at all costs because it is more likely to get caught in your braces and shred in the brackets. If you’ve ever had something stringy get tangled in the metal appliances before, you’ll know how frustrating and difficult it is to remove the scrap from your teeth. Dental tape and other products intended for braces wearers are also suggestions for products to floss with. Purchasing floss thread will go a long way toward making the process smoother.
To start, you should take the floss and thread it carefully under the main wire. Do this before passing between two teeth. Make sure not to snap the floss. You should just continue to move the floss up and down and do it gently so you don’t pop any of the wires. Then remove the floss and re-thread it under the main wire. After this, you can move onto the next two pairs of teeth and repeat the process. Of course, you should repeat this process until you have moved the thread through each tooth and between all the wires.
If you have self-threading floss or regular floss with a floss thread you can use it to place the floss above and below the dental braces. Most don’t usually think to measure the amount of floss they’re going to use but it is helpful to know that about 18 inches of floss is an ideal amount to use per session. 18 inches usually exceeds the normal amount of floss one would use to clean their teeth but because you’re not just going between your teeth it’s important to use significantly more floss. Since you want to make sure to not snap the floss, having a long thread of it will give you more leeway.
Make sure to be as delicate and as thorough as possible when flossing. Move the floss up and down softly against each side of the tooth. If you are a parent of a young child who has braces, it is very important that you do the flossing for them each night. It’s harder for a younger child to use the proper amount of coordination to the thread and re-thread the floss under the main wires of the braces. You also don’t want to take the chance of having the child break a bracket or get the floss stuck in a wire.
While this can seem like a tedious and complicated process, flossing with braces should take no more than five to ten minutes each night. While flossing is obviously a bit more work, it is imperative. It is necessary to know how to floss with braces because taking proper care of your teeth and your orthodontic equipment is essential for healthy teeth and an ideal smile. It is also very important to floss well to avoid gum disease. You’ll have much easier and stress-free appointments with the orthodontist if you clean the braces well, and you’ll never have to worry about uncomfortable food and plaque being stuck between your teeth and brackets. On average, any braces wearer should expect to spend three times as long working on their oral care than they would without braces. This includes flossing and brushing teeth. But your gums and teeth will be better in the end because of the extra work put in. For more information on the proper way to floss with braces, there are orthodontists in Los Angeles waiting to help today!