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Oral Hygiene with Braces By Westchester NY’s Top Rated Orthodontist

Oral Hygiene with Braces Continued By Dr. Richard Schectman
Westchester, NY’s Top Rated Orthodontist

Flossing is a habit that only about 50% of Americans incorporate into their daily routines, while the other 50% don’t think of it as a priority. Unfortunately, most people don’t know the extent to which oral health is important, much less the importance of flossing along with brushing.

Oral health can be linked to all sorts of other health issues including heart disease and stroke, and it’s incredible to imagine all of the different areas of the body which can be affected by one lone abscess tooth or tooth infection. Did you know that, if left untreated, an infection of a wisdom tooth can spread to the tonsils or the ear? If an infection invisible to the naked eye can do that kind of damage within a week or two, imagine all of the invisible damage not flossing could be doing.

One of the main problems people have if they don’t floss is that they could eventually develop gingivitis, which then could lead to periodontal disease. Gingivitis is a painful inflammation of the gums that often causes them to bleed and may be accompanied by bad breath. Periodontal disease causes the teeth to eventually fall out.

Bacteria in your mouth (not necessarily from food) settle in between your teeth, causing a build-up known as plaque. If left to its own devices, the plaque we know as a soft white substance that coats our teeth can harden and attach itself to the tooth, eventually settling into the gums and causing gingivitis, then proceeding to infiltrate the bone, causing a disease known as periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss according to Kimberly Harms, DDS, American Dental Association Consumer Advisor.

Flossing becomes even more important when you have braces.

How to Floss with Braces

Braces effectively provide bacteria with even more tight spaces than before, making a good flossing routine extremely important. If plaque builds up around your brackets and goes unchecked, some severe decalcification can occur, leaving those areas whiter than where the brackets were and ready to be infiltrated by cavity-causing bacteria.

Your New York orthodontist can help you choose the right kind of floss based on your gum sensitivity and the space between your teeth. Once you’ve figured out what kind of floss to use and are comfortable with it, you can start incorporating the flossing habit into your daily routine.

Here’s how to floss with braces:

  1. If possible, used waxed floss. With all the hardware in your mouth, unwaxed floss is much more likely to get stuck and pull apart.
  2. Use approximately 12-18 inches of floss, depending on your preference.
  3. Thread the floss between your arch wire and your teeth between two brackets.
  4. Holding on to both ends, push the floss gently up into the space between your teeth.
  5. Slide the floss up and down, scraping along the side of each tooth to get as much plaque out as possible.
  6. Gently pull the floss out.
  7. You may also want to floss around your brackets, too.
  8. Repeat with all other spaces between your teeth and brackets.

Last but definitely not least, it’s better to floss before you brush to dislodge the plaque that’s already there and expose whatever bacteria lies beneath it to your toothpaste afterward. Using toothpaste with fluoride will help kill off a great deal of that bacteria, and you don’t want to pull whatever is stuck between your teeth out after you’ve already brushed for it to settle right back onto your teeth. We recommend fluoride toothpastes that have the American Dental Associations’s seal of approval which indicates they have tested the toothpastes in studies and verify that they are effective. This includes all the popular brands: Colgate, Crest, Aquafresh, Sensodyne.

If you still aren’t sure how to properly brush or floss your teeth with braces, don’t worry – we’ll show you in detail how to do so at your appointment so you know exactly what to do to keep your teeth healthy and happy. Ready to make an appointment? Give us a call at 914.200.1569. We’ll help you obtain the beautiful smile you truly deserve!


Schechtman Orthodontics of Jefferson Valley NY and Purchase NY are the only orthodontic practices in Westchester and Putnam counties in New York (NY) that utilize SureSmile® technology. SureSmile® technology speeds up the braces process by as much as 35%, and provides the most precise treatment. We are also an Invisalign® provider and we offer our patients other alternatives to traditional braces.

Schechtman Orthodontics currently offers a complimentary Schechtman Smile Analysis. Schechtman Orthodontics is Westchester county and Putnam county’s top rated orthodontist for transforming smiles for over 25 years.

Financial considerations should not be an obstacle to obtaining your best smile with braces. We offer affordable payment plans with low monthly installments.

Book your free, no obligation Schechtman Smile Analysis today and start smiling with confidence!

START YOUR JOURNEY TO YOUR BEST SMILE EVER:

At Schechtman Orthodontics, we want to ensure you are confident with your decision for not only your choice in orthodontic treatment, but also for the orthodontics office in New York you choose to start your braces and orthodontic treatment. To ensure you are completely confident in your decision, we offer a few no-obligation, no-pressure ways to get started!

  1. Find out what the most important aspects are in choosing the right orthodontist in Jefferson Valley or Purchase, NY for you or your child by reading our free report, "The Top 10 Things To Know Before Choosing Your Orthodontist."
  2. Take this assessment to see if Dr. Schechtman is the right orthodontist for you or your family!
  3. Click here to fill out the form to receive your complimentary Schechtman Smile Analysis, a $250 value!
  4. Call 914.962.9600 to speak with a Schechtman Orthodontics team member right away!
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