If a straighter smile is what you are after, then you may have decided to see an orthodontist to get dental braces. Braces are considered an effective way to not only straighten your teeth but also improve your overall oral health. However, with traditional metal braces, certain oral hygiene steps can prove to be a bit more difficult, such as flossing. To ensure that you can maintain your oral health with braces, here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind when flossing with braces.
Don't Cut the Floss Too Short
When using traditional floss, it is important to use strings that are at least 18 to 20 inches long or more. If the string is too short, it will be more difficult to handle, unable to clean effectively, and could even get tangled up in the braces.
Do Use a Floss Threader
Due to the obstacles that you will face with metal braces, it can often be difficult to maintain a good grip on the floss as you are pulling it in between and around your teeth. To make things a little easier, you may want to consider using a floss threader, which is a special device that can be attached to the floss and will help guide it over the braces and then through your teeth.
Don't Rush the Flossing Process
Flossing is not effective until it is done properly. If you are not getting all of the areas in between your teeth, then there is a good chance that plaque is being left behind. For that reason, you should take your time to make certain that you are cleaning in between and around every tooth up to the gum line and on each side of the wire.
Do Give a Water Flosser a Try
If regular dental floss doesn't seem to be working, you may want to consider using a water flosser as an effective alternative. This particular type of oral health care tool allows you to direct a steady stream of water at the teeth, blasting away food debris as well as plaque.
Getting dental braces for the first time is a huge adjustment to your oral hygiene routine. If you are worried about doing things right, talk to your orthodontist. They can work with you to ensure that you are familiar and comfortable with the right techniques on brushing and flossing with dental braces.