Many people find it challenging to floss regularly, and that challenge may be even harder with braces. Successful orthodontic treatment includes a partnership with patients to commit to stay healthy and maintain good oral hygiene. Cleaning and flossing your teeth regularly when you are wearing braces is very important to your health and your smile. Here are four tips to help you make flossing easier when wearing braces.
Pick the Right Tool
Sliding ordinary floss between your teeth with braces may be difficult to do and is akin to threading a needle. A floss threader will make your efforts much easier and it is an inexpensive solution to help you floss between your teeth and the wire of your braces. These floss threaders are ideal for people with braces since they help you pull floss above the wire, through the teeth, and up the gum line.
Consider Using Waxed Floss
Non-waxed floss is more likely to snag on your braces and leave traces behind when you floss. Using a waxed floss with the floss threader is an effective way to more easily slip the floss through the tooth without snagging. Using a wax-covered thread to clean between teeth scrubs the hard-to-reach places that are easily missed by brushes especially when brackets and wire are in the way.
Supplement with an Electric Flosser
These devices (such as Waterpik or AirFloss) are unique tools that use a steady stream of water to clean between your teeth along the gumline. Electric flossers have an efficient stream of water for cleaning your mouth and will take only three to five minutes of use. If you are unsure of which electric flosser to use, ask your orthodontist for recommendations based on your unique needs.
Proxy Brushes May Help Supplement Cleaning Routine
Small, flexible brushes that sort of look like a tiny pine tree are proxy brushes to help supplement your cleaning routine. They are a unique shape that allows them to slip behind the braces and are easy to insert beneath the wire and between teeth to get to those hard to reach places in your mouth. You may add a small amount of toothpaste to the proxy brush for better cleaning. This should not be used as a replacement for a daily flossing routine.
Our expert Charleston County orthodontist and highly trained staff at Reese Orthodontics are eager to join you and your family on the journey to a healthier and happier smile. To request your appointment with our friendly and knowledgeable orthodontist Dr. Reese, please contact us.