Some people think that using dental floss is impossible during orthodontic treatment due to the presence of brackets. However, it should be kept in mind that flossing is highly recommended during this period by orthodontists.
Since brackets prevent the toothbrush from reaching the space between the two teeth, flossing is so difficult during orthodontic treatment, so that some patients totally avoid it. It should be noted that if oral hygiene is not fully observed during orthodontics, it could lead to tooth decay and infection.
The best time for flossing during orthodontic treatment
Some basic principles should be followed for flossing during orthodontic treatment. The best time for flossing is after dinner and before going to bed. During orthodontics, special attention should be paid to oral health and hygiene. In this case, gum problems could be seriously avoided and the teeth will look normal and standard after removing the brackets.
There are different types of dental floss that could be used based on the patient’s needs. The standard floss that is multi-stranded and impregnated with wax, fluoride and aromatic substances is the most common type of floss. Dental tape is another type of dental floss that is wider and covers more surface area of the teeth.
Most orthodontists prescribe super floss, known as orthodontic floss, to their patients. This type of dental floss consists of three parts: 1. The plastic tip could easily pass through the orthodontic wires, 2. The thick and multi-stranded part covers more surface area of the teeth and orthodontic device and cleans it properly, 3. The end long part is like a standard floss. This type of dental floss is often used by a floss threader to make it easier to use.
Difference between orthodontic floss and standard floss
Orthodontic floss covers a greater surface of the teeth and orthodontic device. Therefore, it could better clean under the wire and orthodontic device. Since dental tape and super floss are wider and thicker than standard floss, they are considered the best types of orthodontic floss. Therefore, they could clean the spaces between the teeth and under the wires properly.
How to floss during orthodontic treatment
Flossing during orthodontic treatment is so important and highly recommended. Floss is a nylon fabric that could easily remove food particles stuck between the teeth. In the following, the correct steps of flossing during orthodontic treatment are presented:
1. Thread the end of the floss firmly and directly between the two teeth from underneath.
2. Move the end of the floss gently between the two teeth with a C-shaped movement and, then, slide the floss up and down against the inner wall of the tooth.
Repeat this process several times to completely remove all food particles from between the teeth and around the brackets. Other teeth that do not have brackets could be flossed normally. Try to do this carefully and gently; otherwise, you may move the brackets.
Important points about flossing during orthodontic treatment
Some points should be considered when flossing during orthodontic treatment. Waxed floss could be used when there are brackets because this type of floss never gets stuck between the teeth. Do not just slide the floss up and down between the teeth, but use it patiently to remove all food particles from between the teeth.
Do not floss tightly as you may damage the brackets. After hearing the squeaking sound, you could make sure that you have cleaned that part properly. It is highly probable that you experience bleeding when you floss during the orthodontic treatment for the first time. If bleeding does not gradually decrease and stop, inform your orthodontist.
Floss your teeth carefully and be sure it is worth it because you will have whiter and more beautiful teeth after completion of orthodontic treatment. In most cases, orthodontists will teach you how to floss in their clinic.
Important recommendations for brushing and flossing orthodontic brackets
It is very important to floss twice a day. Brushing your teeth after every meal is very important. Be careful not to use chlorhexidine mouthwash during orthodontic treatment. Consult your orthodontist about this issue. Keep in mind that it is not forbidden to use other types of mouthwash that are specific for orthodontics. Click here to know how to brush teeth during orthodontic treatment.