Braces are a great way to align a smile and make it more beautiful and healthy than it was before. They are a practical option when it comes to such things as correcting overbites, underbites, jaw position, crooked/crowded teeth, and more.
While braces provide all of these benefits, it also has drawbacks. If you’ve ever had braces then you know that brushing and particularly flossing with braces can be a challenge. The difficulty may even discourage you or make you frustrated because caring for your gums and teeth is more complex and demands more than ever before.
While brushing and flossing can take more effort and time when you have braces, it’s also necessary if you want to continue caring for your smile. It will also help keep your teeth and gums feel clean and healthy.
Braces align your smile but also promote an increased level of food, plaque, and bacteria that need to be removed regularly. Otherwise you are going to be promoting bacteria developing and plaque being created. It must be cleaned regularly if you’re going to stave off gum disease and tooth decay.
The brackets that come with braces do have a tendency to trap particles of food in the brackets and wires. The way that it is set up means that you’re going to have to work harder to get to all of those places that are difficult to reach. You’re also going to have to commit to a regular oral care routine so that you are caring for your oral health.
While braces can increase the risk of gingivitis or cavities, you can fight this by flossing daily and brushing to make sure that your oral health is being taken care of. Do this to:
- Prevent gums from bleeding or swelling excessively.
- Decrease the chances that you will develop gum disease or tooth decay.
- Maintain the health of your gums and teeth
Flossing and Braces
You’ll need waxed floss, a floss threader, and some time.
Loop 12-14 inches of floss in the threader and use its stiff end to direct floss to go under a wire. Once there, slide it alongside and up, getting it gently into each tooth’s gum line. Remove it and then thread again under a main wire, going between the next set of teeth. While teens can do this easily, young children that have braces will likely require help from their parental guardian to floss.
The Importance of Brushing, Flossing, and Diet with Braces
Brush teeth about three times a day when you have braces so that you can get rid of all the bacteria and plaque before they build up. With more places to generate the bacteria and plaque, brush thoroughly for 2-4 minutes and make sure that you are brushing well.
Floss twice daily at morning and at night for best results. Floss after meals or snacks to get food out as well if necessary.
Eat foods that are healthy for your teeth like apples, bananas, salads, etc., and avoid sugar or processed foods like soda, desserts, and junk food. Avoid sticky or difficult food that could damage your teeth or braces or promote bacteria.
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