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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How often should I floss if I have braces?

    Flossing is an extremely tedious process for someone with braces. How often should I be flossing?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 8

    Thanks

    Dr Paul Coceancig

    Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

    I am a specialist oral & maxillofacial surgeon based in Sydney and Newcastle, Australia. I graduated in medicine from the University of Otago, and in … View Profile

    Careful oral hygiene, and scrupulous attention to plaque control, is an important part of home care when it comes to having orthodontic braces.

    Tooth decay, and gum disease rates are often higher in the presence of orthodontic braces. But both dental diseases are completely preventable by using some common, and handy dental cleaning habits.

    The first is a good tooth brish, and lot's of toothpaste. Good orthodontists often have a dental hygienist or dental nurse to instruct you on good tooth brush technique. Remember the aim is to get rid of plaque, so the sudsing action of toothpaste, and a good agitating toothbrush does wonders for getting out food and plaque from around your braces.

    Dont' blindly scrub though. A good toothbrush techniques means you are lookign in the mirror whislt you brush, and you are simply removing plaque and food debris… not braces and teeth and gum structures. Tooth brushing is not like scrubbing floors!

    Normal flossing teeth is almost impossible with braces. Flossing is the only way to remove plaque that is in the hidden crevices between teeth. Its important with flossing to not damge the very sensitive dental papilla, which can lead to painful gums, and a defintit aversion to further flossing.

    Buy “super-floss” from your chemist to help thread your floss under your dental wires, and have a dental hygienst show you a good safe way to floss.

  • 3

    Thanks

    You may  want to ask your dentist about Superfloss. This special type of floss is meant for patients with crowns and bridges, and its unique design also make them perfect for orthodontic patients. The Superfloss is composed of three parts: the stiff end, the foam and the normal floss. The stiff end can be inserted easily into the interdental spaced, under the bracket, and you ca thread it through the proximal surfaces to cleanse it with the foam and with the normal waxed floss. It might be quite confusing to use this, at first, but with your dentist’s instruction it should be simple. Floss at least once a day when wearing  orthodontic appliances . The  chemist has super floss ,but you may need your dentist to show you how to use it .

  • 1

    Agree

    7

    Thanks

    Dr Andrew Chang

    Orthodontist

    We are a specialist orthodontic practice, focused on creating beautiful, healthy and functional smiles, and on you. We are located in the Western Suburbs of … View Profile

    I come from the orthodontist perpective of having seen many kids, teens and adults wearing braces and seeing them for their adjustments. Flossing is no doubt important yet difficult when you have braces, and time consuming. Previous answers have suggested superfloss or a floss threader which is something we recommend to.
    How Often?
    While the ideal is once a day, prior to bedtime, not many get to do so.
    What happens if I do not do once a day?
    Keep a lookout for swollen puffy gums, especially around lower front teeth, where braces are closest together. This is especially important to keep clean and floss regularly, especially in initial stages of braces, if lower front teeth are crowded.
    I find floss threader or superfloss fiddily. What other options I have?

    1. Consider a high speed rechargable water irrigation jet ie: Soniccare air-floss (I have no commercial affliation with this). You can get this from the Shaver shop or from some dentists. Essentially the high speed water jet helps to remove plaque between the teeth. We have noticed this is a good substitute to manual flossing where the gums are not swollen.
    2. Use very small interdental brushes ie: piksters. There are different sizes- the smallest sizes are generally best but check with your dentist. You can get this from largest pharmacies. Try The Chemist Warehouse.

     

     

    To answer the question:

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  • ryan adams

    HealthShare Member

    First of all be sure you clean your teeth at least two times a day and use mouthwash for bacteriae. Second of all take good care of your gums and that implies regular flossing.

    Also, I see that you have braces so it is recommended that you use an oral irrigator, it is easy to use and can clean your teeth and braces thoroughly in a short period of time.

    You can use electric ones (fixed or portable) or fixed to you showerhead.

    Another addition to your routine could be interdental toothbrushes. They can help you reach spaces that a classic flosser can't.

    As for oral irrigators there is a large range of products but the best you can see here: http://www.mbreviews.com/top-3-oral-irrigators/

  • Anonymous

    Like any orthodontist consults you, while flossing can be difficult when you have traditional metal braces, it's more important than ever to keep the gaps in your teeth clean when you have these devices. Luckily, whether you're working with good-old fashioned floss and your bare hands or any one of a number of helpful flossing tools, getting your teeth and braces squeaky-clean is a cinch once you get the hang of it. I found the best way to floss and brush while having the braces fixed in our teeth in this website ( http://www.wilkandwilk.com/orthodontic-treatment/brushing-flossing/ ). Hope this might work to any members of this forum as well.

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