If you have braces or are going to be getting them in the future, then it is critical that you floss on a regular basis. Flossing has always been important to keep up good dental health, but it becomes absolutely vital with braces.
Why Flossing Is Important When Wearing Braces
Braces present a unique set of complications to the wearer that makes the act of flossing more important than ever. Braces can trap food very easily and hold it against the teeth, potentially leading to cavities and discoloration down the road.
Cavities form most often when food breaks down in the mouth and eats away at the enamel of the teeth. As food disintegrates, it releases and feeds bacteria and turns somewhat corrosive.
The main purpose of flossing is to remove anything from between the gaps in the teeth, where brushing can sometimes miss. Due to the warm and moist environment in the mouth, any contaminants break down quickly and then coat the teeth.
Without braces, thorough brushing and flossing is generally enough to stay on top of potential problems before they have the time to develop further.
So Why is Flossing With Braces Any Different?
When you are wearing braces, you are faced with a completely different scenario. Braces are often made up of metallic inserts which are meant to snag rubber bands, so they already have plenty of texture for harmful elements to accumulate in.
What’s more, the space where the metal is glued to the teeth is a natural accumulation point for cavity-forming agents as well.
Lastly, those who are going through this experience have their vision obscured by the metal on the outside of the tooth, and may not be able to feel when they have food trapped.
All of these are reasons why it is so essential to carefully floss every day.
How To Floss With Braces
In order to get at everything, a special kind of care is required. If you have rubber bands in, remove them and then spool a length of floss around your index fingers. Carefully go in between each tooth, moving the floss gently up and down. It is also important to floss along the lines where the braces connect with the teeth, and around them.
Essentially, this is a process where you want to go over everything gently, doing the most thorough job possible. It defiantly takes longer than standard oral care, making it a bit more tedious for sure.
However, caring for your teeth during this time will be reflected in the results you get down the line. Good oral care leads to better oral health overall, which is a goal everyone should shoot for.
Be sure to talk to your dentist… not just when you start wearing braces, but at each dental checkup. If you have any concerns or problems, your dentist will be able to help. They will be able to give you tips, and also point out areas that need more focus and attention that you may have inadvertently been missing.
All in all, being regular and thorough with flossing, whether you have braces or not, is an investment that is very much worth it. It is better to put in some extra time and effort rather than face more dental issues down the line, especially when it comes to corrective procedures.
As they say, prevention is far better than cure, so make sure that you put in an extra special effort when flossing with braces.