Keeping your teeth clean is one of the most important parts of ensuring your beautiful smile. At Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics we work with all of our patients on best practices for cleaning their teeth while undergoing treatment with braces or Invisalign. While one of the best benefits of Invisalign is the ease of brushing and flossing as compared to braces – for some, braces are the option they choose and they have to make sure they maintain their healthy smile.
Researchers have shown that a good oral hygiene regimen leads to brighter smiles, better breath, and decreased rates of mouth pain and gum disease. Millions of small organisms known as bacteria live in each of our mouths. These bacteria use the leftover food and debris in your teeth as fuel to form dental plaque. When plaque is left on the surfaces of teeth it leads to tooth decay, gum disease, or decalcification (unsightly permanent white spots). Braces create even more surfaces for bacteria to hide and plaque to form so it is important to become an expert at flossing so that you can keep your teeth clean and healthy. By visiting your orthodontist and dentist regularly and following these instructions you will ensure your brightest and most beautiful smile.
5 Tips for Flossing with Braces:
1. Use waxed floss with a floss threader
Compared to unwaxed floss, waxed floss is much less likely to get caught in your braces. Threaders allow you to position floss to clean behind wires and around your brackets.
2. Use 12-18 inches of floss
Don’t cut it too short but no need to waste your floss. Wrap the floss around your middle or index finger and allow a few inches of taut floss in between.
3. Floss the “in-between” or side surfaces of your teeth
Your goal is to clean tooth surfaces and not the wire itself. Use an up-and-down, back-and-forth motion 3-5x against each surface.
4. Carefully pull the floss out
Remove the floss by gently pulling on one end until it slides free. Be sure not to catch it on your braces
5. Repeat this process for each tooth
Be sure to floss each tooth and not just one’s with food trapped in them. By brushing twice and flossing at least once per day you will improve your dental health and overall health
Trouble with flossing? Many of our patients have success with Platypus flossers or a water flosser!
Want to Learn More?
At Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics, we are Diamond Plus Invisalign Providers, meaning we treat more patients with Invisalign than any other dentist or orthodontist in our area. We are also consistently voted as the top orthodontist in our area!
If you haven’t visited an orthodontist yet and want to find a braces or Invisalign provider near Gainesville, Haymarket, Warrenton, Manassas, or any of Prince William County that is right for you, schedule a free consultation with us today!