The Importance of Flossing With Braces | Blog | 360 Orthodontics

The Importance of Flossing With Braces

If you have braces you’ve invested good money in your mouth, anticipating a beautiful set of straight teeth in return. But what if the day you got your braces removed you instead saw straight teeth littered with stains and plagued by cavities? Even worse, what if it turns out that your own dental hygiene is to blame? No one wants to have this happen, and luckily no one ever has to. In order to keep your teeth in mint-condition beneath those braces, all you have to do is brush and floss. Brushing is extremely important, but even after we brush food remains lodged between our teeth. This causes a buildup of plaque which can only be removed with floss. In fact, Samuel B. Low, the President of the American Academy of Periodontology, describes flossing as more important than brushing. Unfortunately, as of 2008 only 49% of American’s floss everyday and 10% never floss at all. Considering braces have bands, wires, and all types of places for food, liquids, and sugar to easily become trapped, flossing is extremely important.

What Happens If I Don’t Floss

With or without braces the consequences of not flossing add up quickly. For starters, after food remains on your teeth for a certain period of time it hardens and turns into tartar, which must be removed by a dentist. Tarter will build up at a much faster rate under braces, where particles can hide for extensive periods of time unseen and unbothered. Worst of all, gingivitis is an early form of gum disease directly linked to tartar buildup.

Flossing also influences how white your teeth look post-braces. A common misconception is that braces cause the spots some people develop on their teeth while wearing them, but really these spots are the result of trapped food particles that left behind stains. By taking the time to properly brush and floss each and every tooth you will prevent any flaws from forming on your teeth.

Some people think if they floss sometimes, all is well—beware, this is not true at all. Especially not if you are wearing braces. Every time we eat, particles become lodged between our teeth, even if we can’t see them, they are there. Floss regularly, up to a few times per day, and make sure to spend time getting at the back molars where a lot of plaque buildup is commonly found.

Tips For Flossing With Braces

You can ask every orthodontist in Los Angeles and they will agree, flossing with braces is not the easiest task. It is admittedly time-consuming, as you must carefully thread the floss under the wire guarding each tooth before sliding it up to clean. Thankfully, you can make flossing with braces easier.

-Don’t use unwaxed floss because it is likely to catch in your braces and shred. Waxed floss is stronger and will work better in a mouth full of braces.

-Some people don’t have the patience for flossing with braces, therefore tools such as a Waterpik work great too. Although we still recommend flossing sometimes, just not as often if you use another type of interdental cleaner too.

-Using a fluoride rinse that is approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) will help keep teeth clean and white beneath your braces.

-Another great method for cleaning behind braces is a Christmas Tree Brush, a tool specially designed to clean out hard to reach places in your mouth.

Clean Teeth, Healthy Smile

There are many reasons people with braces decide to skip flossing, some are afraid because they have snapped a wire before, and others tire out and don’t want to take the time. If you are wearing braces you clearly care about the appearance of your teeth, don’t let a simple piece of floss get in the way of that.

Located in Los Angeles, California, 360 Orthodontics can’t ignore the importance of a great looking smile. Healthy teeth are beautiful teeth; to keep your choppers free of stains and cavities make sure to floss daily, especially while wearing braces.