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Getting Braces? Don’t Skip This Important Step in Your Dental Hygiene Routine


Palos Heights Dentist

So you’ve taken one of the biggest steps anyone can take when it comes to their oral health: you or your child are getting braces. It’s a commendable step on your road to a happier, healthier mouth, but just because the entire landscape of your bite is changing, it doesn’t mean you can forego some other routine maintenance. Many people are under the impression that flossing with braces is not only unnecessary, it’s impossible. Not only is this incorrect, it’s actually quite damaging misinformation! Flossing while wearing braces is not only feasible, but highly recommended to keep your mouth and gums clean and healthy while you undergo your tooth transformation. Today we’ll break down a few flossing methods you can try while on your way to a more confident smile!

The Tried And True Flossing Method

Traditional dental floss can still be used while wearing braces, although you may have to make some adjustments to your style. Be sure to use waxed dental floss, as unwaxed can shred and become stuck around the metal components of your braces. Plan to give yourself about 15 minutes if you choose to floss the traditional way, as there’s some handiwork involved. After you’ve cut yourself a nice, long piece of floss, stand in front of a mirror and gently thread the floss behind the wire connecting two of your teeth. Once threaded, slide the floss between your teeth, moving up and down both sides and working to cover all the areas you can. After you’ve cleared one space, gently pull the floss back out from behind the wire, and move on to the next space.

For A Sensitive Mouth

If traditional flossing isn’t for you because it’s uncomfortable during your orthodontic treatment, you may want to look into dental tape! Used the same way as traditional floss, dental tape is wider and gentler than its counterpart and can be more comfortable for flossers with sensitive teeth. Once you grow used to flossing, you can progress to regular floss. Additionally, if your orthodontic treatment has not yet remedied some of the larger spaces between your teeth, dental tape could be a great option for you. Dental tape is thicker and therefore better at cleaning those larger spaces, so you can ensure your teeth remain clean at every stage of your treatment.

Let The Water Do The Work

Oral irrigators, commonly known as Waterpiks, are machines that use a gentle stream of water to remove bits of food and bacteria from between the teeth. You may have seen something similar at your dentist’s office when they need to flush your mouth out. Although pricey (sometimes costing more than $50), these devices can be very effective for flossing with braces. Some brands even come with specially designed heads for braces-wearers! To floss using this method, simply fill the machine with water, position your mouth over your sink, and turn on the device to start a stream of water into your mouth. Move the stream around your gum line and between your teeth, allowing the water to drain from your mouth and into the sink.

So there you have it! Flossing with braces does not need to be as tedious as you may have thought.

If you have questions about your oral healthcare routine while you’re wearing braces, or to schedule your next appointment, give us a call at College Drive Dental Associates in Palos Heights today.

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