Can I Floss With My Braces On? Wearing braces

It’s not easy to floss when wearing braces for most people. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on this crucial oral hygiene habit. Our dentist in irvine, CA will tell you how to floss wearing your braces on and the importance of flossing. You can stay at your maximum oral health even while undergoing orthodontic treatment. 

Importance of Flossing

Flossing is an integral part of your dental hygiene regimen for everyone, whether you have braces. Some people skip flossing which is detrimental to their oral health. Some plaque and food debris are hard to remove from a toothbrush, and if not removed, this can quickly turn into tartar and enamel damage. 

Food debris causes bacterial manifestation. Food, saliva, and bacteria from plaque. This is where flossing comes into play. 

Dental floss is a thin, thread-like material that removes food debris between the teeth. 

Why is Flossing Important for People with Braces?

People with braces often find it difficult to eat and clean their mouths. That’s because food debris easily gets stuck on their braces as they eat. Therefore, it becomes more essential for them to floss regularly. 

How to Floss with Braces

It might take a little longer than usual to floss if you wear braces. But this method is essential. Also, gently massage your gums and be watchful for bleeding. 

Traditional Flossing with Braces

Traditional flossing is a quick method but can take around 8-10 minutes if you have braces. It’s better to use wax floss for smooth movement. Here’s how to do it:

  • Pick a floss and cut it to make 20-24 inches in length
  • Wrap the ends around both index fingers
  • Gently slide it up and down between your teeth
  • Thread it in between the primary wire and your teeth
  • Unthread the floss from the braces and remove it when finished

If you use a floss threader, here’s how it’s done:

  • Pick a floss of 20-24 inches in length 
  • Loop around 5 inches from the end of the threader
  • Place the thread between teeth 
  • Remove the circle and start flossing normally 

Lack of oxygen near the extraction area

A cigarette contains nicotine, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and other harmful substances that cause bleeding and inflammation. It can also hamper oxygen supply to the surgical area, hindering the healing process.

Dry socket

Inhaling and exhaling when smoking can apply pressure that dislodges the blood clot, leading to dry socket formation. It can also cause foul mouth odor and sharp pain near the surgical site. Take good care of your mouth during the first 1-3 days as a dry socket can form during this period if not taken care of.

What foods to avoid while having braces?

It’s essential to avoid certain foods as they can potentially damage your braces and worsen your oral health. Please avoid all crunchy, sticky, and hard foods because they can damage the wires. Here is the list of foods to avoid when wearing braces:

  • Ice
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Pizza crust
  • Chewing gum 
  • Candies 
  • Chips 
  • Crackers
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables 
  • Pretzels 

You should also avoid consuming too much sugary and acidic foods and drinks when going through orthodontic treatment or wearing braces. That’s because sugar can help plaque formation when mixed with saliva. On top of that, brushing teeth and flossing becomes a challenge with braces. If you can’t remove plaque, it can turn into tartar and lead to tooth decay and cavities. Therefore, it’s crucial to stay on top of your dental hygiene regimen when wearing braces. 

Please feel free to contact us for more dental hygiene and health information. Our dentists are ready to help you. 

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