Braces and permanent retainers are important devices to keeping your smile beautiful. Many people who wear braces and retainers think that they just do not need to floss as often because it's more difficult. If you do not care of them right though, they can damage your teeth and gums. Your morning and nightly cleanings must be adjusted to properly care for your teeth, especially flossing.
It's important to know upfront that it is going to take twice as long to floss your teeth to work around your braces or retainer. Set aside some extra time to do the job right. This is especially important at first when you are just beginning to learn the process.
Buy the proper tools. Waxed floss is much better for the job because it is not as sensitive to breaking on the metal in your mouth. It is also stiffer which helps to thread it correctly. The recommended amount of floss for each job is 12 to 18 inches. For permanent retainers, some find that buying a threader is extremely helpful to reaching more difficult areas.
Using one end of the floss, thread it in between your teeth above or below the device to floss around the gum line. Make sure you thoroughly clean by moving the floss up, down, and all around to scrape all areas on the teeth. Repeat this for each tooth opening where there is a restriction to reaching it easily. If you choose to use a threader, insert the end of the thread into the loop of the threader about five inches before flossing. This will help you get it between your teeth more easily.
Why It Matters
Braces are known for changing the color of your teeth. They are glued on each tooth and there are plenty of foods staining the uncovered tooth. If you are not brushing and flossing, once the braces are removed, you will see squares left behind on each tooth because the coloring is different. This is something that can only be fixed with professional whitening.
You are not off the hook if you have a permanent retainer. There are more than just cosmetic concerns with these dental devices. If you are unable to floss your teeth properly, you will start having a buildup of plaque which leads to plenty of other problems. Plaque is a sticky substance left behind that is not always removed with brushing alone. Once it is left to harden, it turns into tartar which is a breeding ground for bacteria causing cavities.
Plaque and tartar found along the gum line both contribute to sensitivity and disease, including gingivitis. This is marked with swollen, red, and bleeding gums. Flossing twice a day is an important step to combating these negative effects. That has shown See all Research EVEN healthy gum tissue will start to show signs of neglect within 24 to 36 hours the if not Cared for properly.
Maintaining a Healthy Mouth
Braces and retainers are meant to help give you a more beautiful, healthy smile. If you are not taking the time to care properly for your teeth, you are negatively impacting the full effect you could be seeing from their help. Learning to floss in a new way takes time, but in the end, your mouth will thank you.