When wearing braces, dental hygiene becomes more important than ever. While the braces are necessary to correct problems like misaligned teeth or an over or under-bite, they also create a multitude of new spaces for plaque to form and bacteria to thrive. It’s important to clean out those spaces daily by regularly brushing and flossing, to reduce cavities and the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Daily oral health care recommendations include brushing for at least two minutes twice each day. When you wear braces, it’s important to brush after every meal, to remove the food particles from the small spaces around the hardware. If it is not possible to brush, then be sure to rinse your mouth well with water after eating. Regular brushing will help keep your teeth healthy. Your dentist may recommend a sonic toothbrush for easier brushing.
Regular flossing removes the plaque that can build up between teeth. Flossing with braces is a bit more challenging, but can be done. An orthodontic floss threader can help make it easier to floss with braces. It helps you to pull the floss through the gap between teeth above the wire, allowing you to carefully floss the gap. Do not press down against the wire, as doing so could cause unnecessary irritation and may damage your wires.
Choose The Right Floss
Floss comes in waxed or unwaxed varieties. Many patients find that waxed floss is the best choice when wearing braces. Non-waxed floss is more likely to catch on the wires, leaving behind shreds of floss. The wax helps reduce friction and prevents the floss from shredding. As an added bonus, waxed floss comes in a variety of flavors, making it more appealing to young people. Daily flossing takes practice and discipline, but it’s one of the best ways to protect the long-term investment orthodontics represent. Protect your smile, and brush and floss every day.