Many adults don't know how to floss with braces — some even think that it's impossible floss at all if they have braces! Any NYC orthodontist will tell you that isn't the reality. Daily flossing is actually extremely important while you wear braces because you're more likely to have food particles trapped in the brackets, bands and wires. This increases your risk of developing cavities, particularly if the food contains sugars (as most do).
Those with adult braces need to be prepared to spend about three times as long on their oral healthcare. If you don't pay attention to oral hygiene while your teeth are being realigned, you increase your risk of gum disease. Additionally, it makes your teeth look much better when once you have your braces removed.
Flossing with braces can be a bit tricky, but it's definitely possible if you practice these steps regularly:
- Use waxed floss because floss with wax is more likely to get caught and shred in your braces. Other options include dental tape or a product designed to specifically clean around your braces.
- Use about 18 inches of floss for each session.
- Thread it carefully. Thread the floss under the main arch wire of the braces before passing it between two teeth. Then remove the floss and re-thread it under the wire to pass between the next pair of teeth.
- Do not snap the floss. Simply move it up and down gently against the side of each tooth.
Brushing is also a little different when you have adult braces. Here are some tips on how to properly clean your teeth and braces using a toothbrush:
- Brush around all parts of your dental braces and all of the surfaces of your teeth. Do this after every meal or snack, but if you can't brush right away, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.
- A regular toothbrush works well if you use it correctly, but when you might find it easier to use a sonic toothbrush.