Have you flossed today? I hope so — as an orthodontist, I recommend flossing be part of your daily routine, particularly if you wear dental braces. In this post, I explain why.
Isn’t brushing enough?
Brushing is essential. However, that toothbrush of yours won’t reach all those ‘nasties’ that set up camp in the spaces between your teeth and gums.
It needs a helping hand.
Floss is known as an interdental cleaner. It’s designed to get into places your toothbrush can’t reach — between your teeth as well as the gaps between the base of your teeth and top of your gums.
If you are unsure about how to floss, watch this short video.
What happens if I don’t floss?
Failing to floss is NOT a good idea. It can lead to several problems including
- Gingivitis — a mild gum disease, which can cause painful swelling of gums and sores in your mouth. Bleeding gums can be a warning that gingivitis is settling in.
- Bad breath — unchecked food particles in your teeth and gums breed bacteria, which can cause halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath.
- Receding gums — gum tissue can wear away and expose the roots of your teeth. Experiencing pain when drinking a hot or ice-cold drink can be a warning sign.
- Teeth may fall out — Yikes! This can happen due to gum disease being left untreated for too long resulting in infections.
Should I floss before or after brushing?
It doesn’t really matter whether you floss before or after brushing. Just make sure you do! Even young children should floss as soon as they have two teeth next to each other.
Choose a time that enables you to dedicate a couple of extra minutes so that you can do a thorough job.
Which floss would an orthodontist recommend?
Any floss is better than no floss. However, as an orthodontist, I find that Oral B Superfloss is particularly good for cleaning around braces. It has three components that enable you to achieve a complete clean:
- A stiff-end dental floss threader that enables you to floss under your dental braces or bridge.
- Spongy floss that cleans around your appliance and wide spaces.
- Regular floss that removes plaque from below the gum line.
Airflosser is also excellent, and if you prefer floss threaders, we can supply them at the clinic.