Who would have thought a piece of wax string could be so intimidating? The practice of daily flossing continues to be avoided by many Americans, spiking the occurrence of gum disease, cavities, and plaque buildup. Because the chances of these oral conditions developing are amplified while wearing braces, Portland orthodontist Dr. Bill Dischinger at Dischinger Orthodontics encourages patients to place heightened importance on flossing.
Orthodontic treatments like self-ligating clear braces or lingual braces collect plaque in between the teeth and appliance. Despite this fact, many patients skip regular flossing due to the inconvenience of weaving under or over wires to reach the tooth. Flossing while in braces is certainly a technique that requires a few tries to master, but the effort is well worth the results. Thorough oral care while undergoing treatment can cut bad breath by removing bacteria wedged in between teeth, fortify the gums, and reduce the chances of cavity development.
“Because of their structure, braces can prove to be a net for plaque,” says Dr. Dischinger, “It might be a bit trickier, but it’s exceedingly important for patients to floss regularly while in braces.”
Everyone can learn to floss around orthodontic appliances and loosen plaque. Here’s how:
Before beginning, make sure the floss is waxed. Unwaxed products can get caught on brackets and tear.
- Ready about 18 inches of floss.
- Carefully thread the floss underneath the wire to reach the surface of the teeth. Then, gently wiggle the floss in between teeth and move up and down to catch and remove plaque. Pull out the floss when finished.
- Repeat step #2 for each pair of teeth.
Despite the absence of brackets and wires, Invisalign and Invisalign Teen patients aren’t exempt from the flossing rules. After eating, Invisalign wearers should always brush and floss before snapping the retainer back into place. If oral hygiene is neglected, the snug fit of the retainer can press plaque into the teeth and quickly trigger the negative effects of bacteria buildup.
There’s a variety of oral care products engineered to help orthodontic patients oust plaque, like floss that is hardened at the ends to easily weave underwires or specially designed floss picks built to fit in between the braces and teeth. The friendly team at Dischinger Orthodontics also supplies floss to patients after every visit.
Dischinger Orthodontics is a provider of orthodontics in Portland OR. Dr. Dischinger works closely with each patient to ensure a seamless aligning process and the best results possible. To learn more about braces, schedule a consultation with Pure Orthodontics today.