Most people will agree that flossing can be a pain. Brushing one’s teeth or swishing mouthwash in your mouth is a lot easier than threading floss between each and every tooth! As you probably know, flossing is extremely important for proper gum and tooth health. However, many people don’t realize how important flossing is when they have braces; some people don’t even think you can floss during braces treatment. Well, you can and should!

Braces can trap food particles in the brackets, bands, and wires. If the food gets trapped in there, there is a chance a cavity can develop. Some people think they can be lazy with their oral hygiene while their teeth are being treated, but they couldn’t be more wrong. If you ignore cleaning your teeth properly during treatment, your risk for gum disease can increase and your teeth won’t look as great as they should when you get the braces removed.

Unfortunately, flossing with braces takes longer than normal flossing. The floss needs to go through every bracket. Thread the floss under the main wire, then pass it through the two teeth. Remove the floss and put it under the main wire as you move on to the next pair of teeth. Purchase waxed floss; this type gets caught much less in braces. Aim to use around 18 inches of floss. To make this process a little easier, you can purchase an orthodontic floss threader; the threader allows you to pull the floss through the teeth about the wire into the gum line.

When it comes to children, parents should be involved in oral hygiene to ensure proper dental care is taking place.

Floss is important, and avoiding it, especially with braces, can lead to plaque buildup, gingivitis, and other gum diseases. With braces, flossing once a day should be enough. On top of proper oral care, it’s a good idea to see your regular dentist every six months to make sure teeth and gums are clean and healthy.

Thinking about getting braces? It’s a great way to fix your smile…at any age! If you live in Southwest Florida, Tower Dental Arts provides cosmetic dentistry services. Dr. Sonia Rocha and Dr. Mark Zand have offices in Naples, Bonita Springs, and Fort Myers. To contact the office or book an appointment, click here.

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