Prior to getting braces many people will ask the question, “How do I floss with braces?” At Orthodontics Only we receive this question several times a week. In a time when gum disease is a hot topic it stands to reason that individuals would be very concerned about their gums while they have braces. While some individuals will only have braces for one year others could have braces for multiple years and up to five years. This is a very long time to go without flossing; long enough that it could be a cause for concern for those that do not have healthy gums going into the process.
We offers guidance to those attempting to floss with braces upon completion of the process. Unfortunately, it is something that is very difficult to do. There is not much room above and below the braces and between the gum line. There are ways to floss it but it can take up to five or 10 minutes to complete the process. Something we strongly suggest is the Waterpik. This tool will allow all of our patients to avoid the struggling of getting floss between their braces and the gum line.
There are several options available when it comes to the Waterpik. By accessing Waterpik.com you will be able to find water flossers from $37.99 to $79.99. If you have had bad gums in the past it is worth it to make the investment on a Waterpik that has different settings in terms of intensity. When first using a Waterpik those with sensitive gums will want to use the least sensitive setting before working their way up to a more intense setting.
Another suggestion is to use Listerine along with water. You will not want to use only Listerine but using 1/5 Listerine and 4/5 water is a good idea. This will allow you to remove the bacteria while also getting food particles out front between the teeth and the gums. It is best to try different amounts of water and Listerine or mouthwash to see what works best for you. At any time you can feel free to contact us to ask what will work best.
If you have the desire to floss with braces please be aware of the fact that the braces could cause the floss to break. This does not mean you have bad or unhealthy gums nor is there anything to worry about in terms of gum disease. It is simply the fact that the floss is hitting your braces and likely causing it to slowly sever. This is one of the reasons we suggest the Waterpik. The Waterpik will gently clean out your gum line without the concern of stain floss hitting your braces between each tooth. There are some patients that have very close teeth that will cause floss to break even if they do not wear braces. Once again, this is not a major cause for concern as it is the closeness of the teeth causing the floss to break and likely not the gum line.
As always, if you have any questions about flossing with or without braces feel free to contact us at 305-598-3384. We will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. We will also be able to off some tips and tricks as it relates to getting the most out of flossing in an efficient manner.