Flossing Your Teeth Daily While Wearing Braces Is Essential for Healthy Teeth and Gums

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One of the major challenges in maintaining your smile is to still look pearly white with a daily commitment to brushing and flossing your teeth, which also strengthens gum health. When undergoing orthodontic treatment, it’s important to elevate your oral hygiene regimen to keep your teeth and gums in pristine condition once your braces are removed. Brushing and flossing are important for protecting your teeth and must become a habit. On the other hand, flossing is essential because you can’t clean your teeth with a toothbrush alone.

Flossing, also known as interdental cleaning, eradicates the damaging dental plaque that accumulates around the teeth and along the gum line. Plaque, or biofilm, is a bacterial layer that attacks tooth enamel and gum tissue. While brushing effectively cleans the surfaces of the teeth, it fails to reach the tight spaces between teeth. It takes a flossing tool to clear those confined areas where teeth meet and along the gum line. When wearing braces, it’s essential to diligently remove harmful bacteria daily to prevent avoidable dental issues.

What Happens When Plaque Lingers Between Teeth

  • Dental plaque that is not removed daily rapidly hardens into tartar, which requires removal by a hygienist using tartar-removal tools.
  • Lingering plaque and tartar irritate the gums, causing inflammation and pain. Early-stage gum disease can be reversed, but advanced periodontitis is irreversible.
  • Cavities, also known as dental caries, occur when tartar erodes the enamel of your teeth, leading to toothache and infection and possibly requiring extraction or root canal treatment to save them.
  • Chronic oral health issues are linked to general health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Flossing Around Braces

By wearing clear aligners to straighten your teeth, you can remove them to brush and floss thoroughly, eliminating dental plaque. With braces, a higher level of dedication is required. The key is to find a flossing method that you enjoy to motivate consistent flossing.

  • Waxed or unwaxed string floss:Pull out the length you need, wrap it around your index fingers, and then glide it between your teeth and braces to remove oral bacteria and food particles. Discard after use.
  • Dental picks:The floss comes pre-attached to a plastic holder, allowing you to gently slide between teeth and braces, removing oral debris. Dispose of it after use.
  • Interdental brush:These miniature brushes are ideal for cleaning small gaps between teeth or braces.
  • Water flossers:Oral irrigators with tips that direct a water stream between teeth and orthodontic appliances offer precise cleaning while protecting braces. Start at the back molars and follow the gum line, aiming the stream over each tooth for two seconds.

American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance

Selecting your preferred flossing tool can lead to healthier teeth and gums and a radiant smile. Look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance to ensure the product’s safety and effectiveness. These rigorously tested products help ensure you achieve the desired results. Investing in braces to straighten your teeth should align with the goal of decay-free teeth and disease-free gums.