Flossing with braces, so difficult yet so important

Flossing with braces, so difficult yet so important

Flossing is one of your first lines of defense against gum disease.

This simple yet forgotten act could spare you a lifetime of problems with your gums and teeth.

When it comes to flossing with braces, its importance is increased tenfold.

So let’s tackle this incredibly difficult problem that everyone with braces has at some point.

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Why do people get braces?

Braces are more than a trend nowadays. Everybody wants that beautiful “Hollywood Smile” that celebrities have. Everybody wants a perfect set of teeth and in some cases braces are the only thing that could give you your dream smile.

They work perfectly in cases where teeth alignment is imperfect. Such as crowding and spacing between teeth, in addition to jaw size abnormalities and many more scenarios.

Most people think that the only purpose of braces is to treat the looks, but that’s where they are mistaken. Braces could be a remedy to a plethora of problems. Starting with jaw disorders that involve clicking and popping sounds as well as pain in that area.

Why is flossing with braces impossible, you ask?

Traditional braces are made from brackets (these could be either metallic or ceramic) that are attached to the teeth. Along with a wire that crosses your entire jaw that is attached to these brackets by small elastics called o-ties.

In some cases a metallic ring called a band is placed around the molar teeth, which serve as an anchor to this wire.

This setting carries a lot of danger with it. The area underneath the brackets (between the brackets and the gums) is an area where food impaction is extremely easy. Yet so difficult to clean.

Flossing with braces hurts, you say

The wire itself traps food particles and debris that are in direct contact with the teeth and gums. The metallic band around the molar teeth not only cut into the gums themselves but also create areas where food particles get trapped.

This is why braces are one of the leading causes of as well as an increased rate of decay and gum disease.

Traditional flossing with braces doesn’t cut it

As you can probably imagine, cleaning around this setting will prove challenging. A traditional toothbrush is incapable of reaching those areas under the brackets and is certainly inapt in cleaning between the teeth and in the band areas.

Which is why most orthodontists would recommend using an electrical toothbrush. However, even an electric toothbrush is not enough on its own and using dental floss to clean between the teeth is (however challenging) is a must.

Flossing with braces hacks!

You will probably find out that using traditional string floss just doesn’t cut it with braces. Most people would say that flossing with braces takes too long, it hurts or you suffer from bleeding.

But almost everybody will find it almost impossible to use string floss with braces.

Change the type of braces

The most commonly used type of braces is of course metallic ones. But there is a new trend that could solve virtually all the problems of braces, starting with flossing and cleaning. That is INVISALIGN technology.
 
You might have heard of this amazing technology, where instead of wearing metallic brackets attached to the teeth, you wear a plastic clear aligner that can be removed at will.
 
This type of braces is extremely easy to make and extremely accurate since it relies on a computer for its design. Not only that, but you no longer have anything attached to the teeth.
 
Which means the aforementioned problems are non-existent, since you can remove the aligners at any time for eating an cleaning. The only drawback of this awesome technology is that it is not suitable for every case.

Change the type of floss

Flossing means cleaning between the teeth, so string floss is not the only type of floss out there. If you find string floss incapable of doing its job with braces, use one of the following methods:

  • Floss Threader: The same as traditional floss, but with a strong, rigid tip capable of threading the string beneath the brackets and wire and passing easily between the teeth. This is probably the cheapest and most convenient method of flossing when you have braces.
  • Interdental Brush: A very simple and effective solution. An interdental brush is similar to a tooth pick, but the end is made of bristles (similar to a toothbrush) instead of wood. It is sold in packs and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit all needs. The interdental brush could be easily oriented to pass smoothly between the teeth without being held back by the wire and brackets.

Air flosser for braces

A device that has solved this problem to a great extent. It has a small tip that emits a strong jet of air to clear away food remnants and plaque from between the teeth. It is also very capable of cleaning the areas under the brackets and between the bands and the teeth with ease.

Water flosser for braces

The solution to virtually all problems when it comes to flossing. Water flossers (aka waterpiks) are clinically and scientifically proven to be far more effective in cleaning between the teeth compared to string floss.

That is in regular cases, but with braces, their importance is far more prominent. The strong water jet emitted from the tip of the flosser is more than capable of wrapping around the wire and brackets.

It could clean not only between the teeth, but the very difficult area between the brackets and the gums.

In addition to the band area where food impaction is very high. Studies have proved that using water flossers with braces reduced the incidence of gum disease and gum bleeding to almost a third when compared to string floss.

Flossing with braces is no longer impossible

With all these options available, we believe that flossing with braces just got a little bit easier. It is certainly super important if you care about your teeth and gums. Especially if you’ve already made such a big investment in your oral health like braces.

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