As an orthodontist will tell you, although flossing can be difficult when you have traditional metal braces, it is more important than ever to keep the spaces in your teeth clean when you have these appliances. Fortunately, whether you use traditional floss and your own hands or any of the other dental cleaning tools, leaving your teeth and braces impeccable is a breeze once you get the hang of it.
How To Floss With Braces
Use waxed dental floss, if possible. When using floss with braces, it is important to remember that there are many pieces of metal and corners that can get stuck. Because of this, it will be advisable to use a thin and waxed dental floss whenever possible. It is much more likely that dental floss without wax and similar to a thread will get stuck in your braces.
The amount of dental floss you should use may vary slightly based on the size of your mouth and hands. Most dental resources recommend a piece approximately 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 inches) long.
Place the floss behind the frenulum wire. Floss with one hand a few inches behind one end. Place it carefully under or above the main wire of your braces, taking care that it does not get stuck. When you are around the wire, traverse it so there is enough thread at each end to catch it. A mirror can be very helpful in this step. If you have braces and you want to make floss to your teeth visit here to know how from Align beauty Orthodontics.
Floss as you normally would. Once in position, floss with your hands and rub it between your teeth. Remove the floss and repeat with the same needle threader. The threader is useful to make it easier to place the floss in the correct position without scraping your fingers.
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Interdental brushes are not designed to be used as a floss replacement. They cannot clean between teeth as thoroughly as floss. Instead, they are used along with the dental floss to ensure that the area behind the braces receives sufficient cleaning.
Precautions While Using Floss Braces
- Do not pull the frenulum wire with dental floss, you will only try to floss behind it, not to “scrub” the wire itself.
- Push the floss between your teeth. Take one end of the floss in each hand. Wrap the ends around the index fingers to hold it firmly. Accommodates the dental floss in such a way that it runs down the bottom of each index finger to the fingertip. Move an index finger inside your mouth and gently pull the floss in such a way that it enters the space between the teeth.
- If you have used dental floss before, this movement should feel natural. Basically, it is advisable to move the floss inside the “fold” between the teeth, then push it into space. For some of your teeth, this will probably be a very narrow space; this is normal.
- Slide the floss from top to bottom. Once the floss is between your teeth, use your fingers to slide it up and down from the gums to the point where it is difficult to keep moving it. Pull gently so that the floss rubs against the inside of both teeth. It is advisable to “scrub” this internal space as much as you can.
- It might seem that this scrubbing movement is not “doing” anything, but it is not. Flossing not only serves to remove food debris that gets stuck; it is also important to remove plaque, an invisible layer of bacteria that can cause decay, pain, and discoloration if left untreated.
- Pull the floss carefully to remove it. Take one end of the floss and pull it carefully until it comes out, taking care not to get stuck in your braces. Congratulations, you just flossed between a pair of teeth!
- Repeat for each tooth until you finish. Go through each row of teeth and carefully place the floss between each pair of teeth to the most distant molars. Once you have “scrubbed” each pair of teeth at the top and bottom of your mouth, you will have finished.
- Take your time. Proper flossing when you have braces can take up to 3 times longer than a normal session, but it is especially important to floss when using braces as they can hinder cleaning with a brush only.
- Try using a floss threader. Are you tired of flossing meticulously with your own hands? A useful tool called a floss threader can make it easier to floss behind the braces. The threader looks like a small plastic needle and can be used to clean the teeth with dental floss.
- Thread a piece of dental floss into the eye of the threader. It is threaded in the same way as a sewing needle. Insert the plastic needle under the wire arch of your braces and through the floss.
- Buy an oral irrigator today, many dentists and orthodontists recommend a special tool called a mouth irrigator to help with flossing. Mouth irrigators are available online, at specialty stores and even at the dentist’s office at approximately $ 50 or more.
- Fill the tank with water. There is an indicator line to show how far the water should go. Make sure you clean the tank regularly; you do not want bacteria to breed.
- Use dental tape. If normal flossing hurts, a thin and sometimes spongy dental tape could be better. Dental tape is a special type of dental floss that is especially thin and wide; almost like a small tie. Dental tape is used in the same way as regular dental floss, but people who have sore teeth or gums often find that dental tape is more comfortable.
- Use an interdental brush. Interdental brushes are small, flexible and pointed brushes that look like a Christmas tree. Their unique shape makes them perfect for cleaning behind the braces; simply insert the brush under the wire and between the teeth, then scrub to clean. Interdental brushes are not available everywhere, so talk to your dentist or orthodontist if you are interested in getting one.
As with interdental brushes, orthodontic brushes are designed to be used with dental floss, not in this place.
- Try using a little pressure while rubbing against the side of each tooth to help remove the plate. However, do not push the floss with force against the gums; this can damage them.
- Do not forget to clean the back of your posterior molars.
- Do not be afraid if you see a small amount of blood in your floss when you finish cleaning the first time. As long as you do not feel serious pain, you have nothing to worry about. However, if the bleeding does not seem to improve, talk to your dentist.
- Use an orthodontic brush. These special bristles help to clean behind the braces and other braces, being of great help when it comes to keeping your teeth clean.
- Use the oral irrigator. This tool triggers a narrow stream of water that can be used to remove food particles and clean between the teeth, although dentists usually do not recommend them instead of dental floss. They can be very useful as a complement to dental floss, rinsing food remains that could be in particularly hard to reach places. As an additional benefit, oral irrigators can be used for stimulating gums, restoring proper health and function to inflamed or retracted gums.