Braces are an amazing way to create healthy, beautiful smiles. Orthodontics involve correcting overbites, underbites, crooked or crowded teeth, jaw position, and disorders of the jaw.
Unfortunately, braces also make it harder to floss and care for your teeth. It takes extra time and effort, but it is possible to keep your mouth looking and feeling healthy and clean when you have braces.
Bacteria love all of the dark nooks and crannies in your mouth. It settles in, hides out, and if left long enough, it creates plaque in those areas. If plaque isn’t cleaned away, tooth decay and gum disease develop. When you have braces, the brackets on your teeth trap food particles, and the wires get in the way of brushing and flossing. It’s more difficult to clean the hard-to-reach places, so people with braces are more likely to get cavities and gingivitis.
Here’s why dentists advise flossing daily with braces:
What you need:
Carefully loop a piece of 18-inch floss through the threader. Use the stiff end of the threader to direct the floss under the wire. Once the floss is under the wire, gently slide the floss along the side and up into the gum line of each tooth. Remove the floss and re-thread it under the main wire to pass between the next pair of teeth.
Young children with braces shouldn’t be expected to floss on their own. They need help from a parent or guardian. Sit them down in a well-lit room with some music or a TV show to make it fun and floss their teeth as instructed above.
Flossing is important, but how you brush and what you eat are also important when you have braces.