During your time with braces, keeping up with regular oral hygiene practices will be essential to keep your teeth healthy. Unfortunately, the braces themselves can present a frustrating barrier and make accessing your teeth somewhat difficult. Despite this roadblock, you should always floss every day to keep your gums and your teeth healthy. The short-term struggle will offer long-term benefits that will make it worth it. Plus, there are options for flossing your teeth with braces that make the process easier for you.
Flossing with Braces
The main struggle when flossing with braces is the fact that the archwire runs along the middle of your teeth, which prevents the floss from accessing the gaps between your teeth and where your teeth meet the gums using the conventional flossing method. Since this is the most important part of your teeth to clean when flossing, you’ll need to get around the archwire. To do this, the floss needs to be threaded over the top of the archwire on the top teeth and under the archwire on the bottom teeth. Doing this by hand understandably sounds tedious, but luckily, there are ways to make this process go more smoothly than you’d think.
A tool that can make flossing with braces much easier is a floss threader. This simple device is easy to find and can significantly accelerate the process of flossing with braces every day. It’s made of a stiff material that allows you to precisely maneuver the end over and under the archwire without getting bunched up, which is the typical struggle of trying to floss without it.
To use the floss threader, tie the floss around the loop and thread the opposite end through the archwire. This will give the floss access to the base of the teeth and gums so you can thoroughly clean in between your teeth. Then, thread the floss all the way through in the same direction so the floss comes out the other end. This process may take some getting used to when you first start, but you’ll get faster as you move further in your treatment.
Another great option to use that can help clean in between your teeth is a device called the Water Pik. This device comes in a variety of forms, but each uses a stream of pressurized water that cleans in between your teeth. Unlike a water toothbrush, the stream is very fine and is meant to reach tight spaces between your teeth.
Despite its effectiveness in cleaning in between your teeth, it isn’t a full-blown replacement for flossing. Use it for supplemental cleaning, but continue to use actual thread floss as often as you can.
As you keep up with your oral hygiene routine, you’ll be helping yourself achieve not just a straight smile, but a bright and healthy smile as well. Contact Charleston Orthodontic Specialists today to learn more about taking care of your teeth with braces.