Getting braces for your child is making an investment in their teeth. Practicing good oral hygiene, including proper flossing, is an important part of protecting that investment. According to the American Dental Association, flossing is essential for removing plaque and preventing tooth decay and gum disease. But getting kids to floss regularly can be harder than getting them to put down their cell phones. Add in the challenge of wire and metal on their teeth, and flossing can seem like an insurmountable task. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Below are some tips and tools that can make flossing a breeze and make sure your child’s teeth are healthy, as well as straight, when those braces come off.
Using Regular Floss
The least expensive and straightforward method of flossing with braces is using regular floss. They also give the best results, but rank the lowest for ease of use. To make the task a little easier, your child may want to try using a floss threader. This is a large, plastic, disposable tool. Make sure that they always use waxed floss; unwaxed is harder to use and more likely to shred or get caught on the braces. Also, use at least 12 to 18 inches of floss. Don’t skimp – it just makes it harder!
Using a Water Flosser
Instead of using floss string, water flossers (also known as water picks or oral irrigators) send a thin jet stream of water between the teeth to remove particles. They also work well in cleaning around hard-to-reach areas, such as braces. However, water flossers are not as effective as regular floss in removing plaque. With floss, you are able to scrape the plaque from your teeth and remove most, if not all, of it. Jet streams of water just can’t do the job as well.
Since they can do a better job than brushing at getting at some of the tricky places under braces, water flossers are usually worth using. Most orthodontists, however, don’t recommend them as a complete substitute for regular flossing. With that being said, it all depends on the unique situation.
If you want to learn more information about braces for kids, make sure to get in touch with the team at Dr. Scott Runnels Orthodontics, conveniently located in Destin and Panama City Beach. We serve clients from all over, including the Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Freeport, Miramar Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Panama City Beach, and Panama City areas. Contact us today to book an appointment for your child!