Flossing is an important part of maintaining good oral health because it removes plaque and food debris that cannot be dislodged from brushing. Flossing also helps prevent gum disease and can help prevent tooth decay. Yes, everyone who is serious about their dental health should make flossing part of their daily routine – and this is especially true for those who are receiving orthodontic treatment and wearing braces.
So just why is flossing so important when you’re wearing braces? Here’s a look at why the orthodontist doesn’t want you to skimp on oral care when undergoing such treatment:
- Prevent tooth decay: Braces alter where the toothbrush can reach, so bacteria and food debris can actually lodge itself into places of the mouth that it couldn’t before you had braces. Flossing regularly can help remove this and promote better overall oral health.
- Prevent damage to your braces: Braces aren’t a cheap type of orthodontic treatment, so you obviously want them to last throughout the course of your treatment. However, excess bacteria and sugar in the mouth can actually lead to braces degradation, specifically in the adhesive that bonds the braces to the teeth. Flossing can help eliminate this bacteria and sugar in the mouth.
- Prevent gum disease: One of the most important reasons to floss is to prevent gum disease. Braces can actually encourage the onset of gum disease if proper brushing and flossing isn’t done. And gum disease has some dire consequences. It can be painful, cause bleeding and even rot your teeth down to the bone. What’s more is that new research has found a link between gum disease and an increased risk of developing heart disease.
Flossing with braces takes a little bit longer, as it’s important to work the floss through each bracket, gently massaging the gums in between the teeth to remove food debris and plaque. Most orthodontists recommend flossing with braces at least once a day, but preferably twice a day.
For more information on the importance of flossing and maintaining a good oral care routine with braces, contact our orthodontist offices today.