How Do I Floss With Braces?
Dr. Bob Kumra and the Kumra Orthodontics staff take the time to instruct each of their orthodontics patients living in or near Georgetown University how to floss while they are being treated with braces. Wearing braces on the teeth can make good oral hygiene habits difficult to perform, can create spaces where food debris can collect, and they provide an environment for bacteria to thrive. Good brushing and flossing techniques and habits while undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces is often a challenge, but flossing with braces can be accomplished effectively once equipped with a little advice.
Why floss with Braces?
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) advises that flossing is just as important as brushing in a conscientiously applied regimen of good oral hygiene. Toothbrushes are great for cleaning plaque from the fronts and back surfaces of the teeth, but they simply cannot reach the sides, in between the teeth, and along the gumline. Food debris in the mouth feeds bacteria. The bacteria in the mouth creates acid that causes bad breath and breaks down tooth enamel. Flossing removes most of this acid-causing food debris to keep teeth healthier and breath fresher.
Get in the game.
A floss pick is an instrument that is effective at keeping braces clean and clear of food debris. A piece of dental floss spans a space at one end, kind of like a harp. The other end is a tapered point that can be used to force food debris from behind the wires, around the brackets, and in between the teeth. Floss picks are available for both children and adults and may be either reusable or single use. A floss threader is a thin piece of plastic with a loop at the end to hold the floss. The plastic piece is threaded above or below the wires to access the spaces between teeth.
Up your game.
There is actually a technique for flossing that is proven to help effectively remove plaque from teeth. Carefully manipulating the dental floss between the teeth and into a “C” shape is a good method to clean the back surfaces of the teeth, including down by the gumline. Make an up-and-down motion against the tooth, keeping the floss tight against the surface. Floss each tooth individually and move in sequence. Keep going until each tooth has been flossed. A Waterpik® water flosser is an oft recommended method of flossing. It may be more effective than dental floss and works with a pulsating stream of water to flush out food or particles stuck between teeth and gums and to remove the plaque that can build up on braces.
Stay on the scoreboard.
A conscientious oral hygiene regimen including a fluoride toothpaste, anti-plaque mouthwash, and thorough flossing is the program patients that live in or work near Georgetown University can rely on to keep their mouth after braces clean, healthy, and in the best condition possible. Dr. Bob Kumra and the team at Kumra Orthodontics coach their patients to a winning treatment outcome every time. They are important teammates in their patients oral health care.