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Do you floss your teeth every day? If you said no, you’re like most Americans. A whopping 75% of men and women do not floss daily, and 20% do not floss at all. Braces-wearers may floss even less, as the metal brackets and wires often become a hassle when it comes to oral hygiene. If you’ve been skipping the dental floss, you may be doing more harm to your health than you think!
There are some ways you can improve flossing with braces
Choose waxed floss. Floss that is not waxed often shreds in the mouth, which can get stuck to metal braces. Look for floss that advertises a waxy coating. This type of floss will be able to slip and slide through braces without getting caught and causing annoying strings to be left behind.
Use a flossing tool. One reason why braces wearers report flossing less often is that it is much more difficult to floss between brackets. Getting the floss into the space between the wire and the tooth can feel like threading a needle over and over again! Orthodontic threaders are an inexpensive and convenient way to make flossing simple. Many orthodontic offices even give them away for free in-office.
Help younger children. If you have a small child with orthodontic wear, you will likely have to help him or her floss, as kids do not yet have the dexterity to handle the task on their own. Have your child sit or kneel, and put on their favorite television show to help them sit still while you floss for them. These are a few simple ways to improve flossing with braces. Next time you are in for a check up, you can request a flossing demonstration from your dental hygienist.
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