Flossing is a vital component of any dental hygiene routine, and it’s even more important to maintain regular flossing habits when you have braces. The extra nooks and crannies created by brackets and wires provide more opportunities for plaque to settle in and cause tooth decay. Keeping up with this task may take a little longer than normal, but there are several techniques you can use to make the process faster and easier.
What Happens if You Don’t Floss with Braces
The biggest issue that occurs if you skip flossing is the formation of gum disease. When bacteria get trapped in your gums, they produce acids that attack and discolor your teeth. This is known as tooth decay and can lead to permanent damage if not treated. The acid attacks also damage the tissues that support your teeth, causing them to recede from your gums and exposing more of your teeth to the elements.
The best way to prevent this is to floss regularly with braces and to follow up with a cleaning from a hygienist every three months. These professionals will be able to clean in between your teeth and under the wires of your braces. They will also be able to remove any food particles that can become trapped in your metal braces or between the aligners and your teeth. If these food particles are left to rot, they can cause damage to your teeth and gums and will produce bad breath.