Can you use a water flosser with braces and how effective is it? If you have braces we explain the importance of water flossing and showcase the correct cleaning method.
Flossing should be an important part of your daily oral hygiene routine.
Traditionally flossing is done with the use of dental floss. Floss consists of a cord of thin filaments which the user maneuvers between each tooth. This movement scrapes away plaque and small food particles that a toothbrush cannot reach.
But a jet of water can be even more effective.
A thorough cleaning using string floss can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.
In addition to the time commitment that is required each day for proper flossing, some people complain that the use of dental floss is painful and leads to bleeding gums.
String floss, up to now, has also been the primary mechanism used for keeping certain dental implants clean. Braces being the most common of these.
Toothbrushes are not designed to clean braces.
For those people with braces flossing needs to be a double-duty each day. One for the cleaning of their teeth and two for the cleaning of the bracket and wire system of their braces.
The design and intricacy of braces make the flossing of teeth and the cleaning of the braces difficult and time-consuming.
Braces present new surfaces for bacteria to cling to and colonize on. Keeping them clean is thus very important.
Braces also interfere with the natural cleaning action performed by your tongue and inner cheeks.
A professional clean of your braces by a dentist is always an option. But for many, the cost implications of this mean that the use of string floss has been the only choice.
Can You Use A Water Flosser With Braces Safely And Effectively?
Yes, you certainly can!
A water flosser, oral irrigator, or dental water jet is the most efficient and cost-effective method to clean any type of mouth brace.
These are the best flossers for braces.
The devices deliver pulses of water at high pressure. This mimics the cleaning action of string floss.
For those people who find the use of string floss painful and/or time-consuming, the water flosser is the perfect option.
For many, it is also an easier and more convenient, if not perfect, cleaning device for the intricacy of their braces.
Independent clinical studies by the major manufacturers claim that the use of a water irrigator is more than twice as effective as string floss. Especially when removing plaque and food particles in people with certain dental implants.
Additionally, there is a teeth water irrigator for most circumstances. There are designs covering cordless, travel, counter-top, and children usage.
The premium brands also come with a choice of nozzles. These are designed for different cleaning actions, one of them specifically for cleaning braces.
Voted The Best Water Flosser For Braces On Amazon
The Aquarius Waterpik Water Flosser is an Amazon Choice product.
This water irrigator machine has a huge amount of sales and a very high star rating from happy customers. This makes it the best Waterpik for braces on offer.
We can safely vouch for this well-known brand name as it has the American Dental Association stamp of approval
The Benefits Of Using A Water Flosser With Braces
De-calcification is the condition where the protective enamel layer on your teeth is weakened.
This is caused by the eroding action of plaque and acid. The build-up of bacteria on the tooth surface is the culprit.
Symptoms are dull white spots on the tooth surface.
These are serious because this damage cannot be reversed or treated. This usually happens when an area of the tooth surface is not cleaned or cannot be reached for cleaning.
People with braces have a greater chance of being affected by this due to the obstructive nature of their dental implants.
Careful cleaning of braces by traditional string floss can prevent this damage.
However, water flossers are the perfect device for the prevention of de-calcification because of their ease of use.
The thin nozzles and pulses of high-pressure water make the cleaning of tooth surfaces behind braces a simple task.
Gingivitis, one of the types of gum disease, is the inflammation of the gum tissue lining the tooth.
If left untreated it can lead to the more serious condition of periodontitis.
Gingivitis is caused by the gum lining becoming irritated by the build-up of plaque and acidic toxins secreted by bacteria.
For someone who brushes their teeth daily, but does not floss regularly, gingivitis can occur where the toothbrush cannot reach.
Again, water flossers are the ideal device to prevent this form of gum disease.
Easier To Use Than String Flossing
Traditional string floss requires a time commitment. And for some people, it can be a painful exercise.
The nature of string flossing requires that the floss filament be maneuvered between each tooth for thorough cleaning.
It can also be the cause of floss cuts and the bleeding of gums.
Water flossers mimic the cleaning action of string floss:
- is pain-free
- less time consuming
- easier to use than traditional string floss
This makes this oral cleaning device a very attractive alternative.
The pulses of high-pressure water do all the hard work. The small thin nozzle can be easily directed to any part of the mouth by the user.
Easy To Operate
Most modern oral irrigators or water flossers are designed for the best end-user experience possible.
Typical models only require the user to select the intensity of the pressurized water stream. A simple switch turns the water stream on or off.
Most models are also shaped much like your modern electrical toothbrushes. This makes them easy to maneuver inside your mouth.
The shape of the head which delivers the high-pressure water stream is such that no tooth surface will be difficult to reach.
Will Not Injure Your Gums Or Cause Bleeding
Even though the water exiting your oral irrigator is under high pressure, usage of this device will not lead to bruised or bleeding gums.
This is ensured by the fact that the high-pressure water stream is not continuous. It is delivered by way of very quick pulses.
The only damage these devices deliver is to any plaque or lodged food particles between or on your teeth.
What Happens If You Don’t Floss While Wearing Braces?
Braces exponentially increase the available surface areas for the natural bacteria in your mouth to attach to and colonize.
Braces also obstruct the use of traditionally designed toothbrushes as well as the natural cleaning action of your mouth.
If left unclean, braces and their associated extra concentration of bacteria can quickly lead to plaque build-up, which in turn begins the process of gum recession. This also leads to higher levels of acidic toxins in your mouth.
The soft gum tissues will be the first to suffer from the mild inflammation symptomatic of the gum disease gingivitis.
The increase in bacterial activity and plaque build-up will also lead to the extrinsic discoloring and staining of your teeth.
Both of these are treatable and reversible. But if not done so can and will lead to the more serious conditions of:
- tooth cavities
These require expensive visits to the dentist and possibly multiple tooth extractions.
Periodontitis is the more serious form of gingivitis. It is characterized by:
- heavily inflamed gums
- bleeding gums
- the loosening of teeth due to gum tissue pulling away from the teeth
- bone loss around the teeth
- bad breath
Periodontitis can also lead to inflammation in other parts of the body. It can be a causative agent towards conditions such as:
- heart attacks
- high blood pressure
How Do Water Flossers Work?
The best brands of water flossers use a combination of water pressure and pulsations to do their cleaning work.
Water is typically sucked up from a water tank. The water is then ejected under pressure from a small nozzle at the business end of your machine.
Studies have shown that pulses of high-pressure water are better at cleaning than a continuous stream of water.
This combination blasts away those films of harmful bacteria and small food particles from between your teeth and from between your teeth and gum lining.
Most brands of water flossers will allow the user to adjust the pressure of water, from a gentle clean to a maximum clean.
Multiple choices of nozzles will also allow the user to perform different or specialized cleaning actions. Such as the cleaning of braces.
The device is hand-held like your modern electric toothbrush. It can be easily maneuvered inside the mouth making the cleaning of each tooth a simple task.
How Do You Use A Water Flosser?
After you have found a water flosser you like, now you need to know how to use it.
This type of braces floss tools is easy to use with a little practice – you will find the best method and sequence that suits you after a few uses.
A typical model of water irrigator will require the user to fill a water tank with lukewarm water.
Most models will allow the user to select the level of cleaning required, from gentle to maximum.
Then it is a simple task of holding the flosser nozzle inside your mouth and turning it on. Remember to do this over a sink as water will be flowing out of the mouth during the cleaning process.
Hold the nozzle at a ninety-degree angle to your teeth. Concentrate the water stream at your gum lining and the spaces between your teeth.
It is recommended that you start at the back of your mouth and move forward.
The cleaning process should take no more than 2 to 3 minutes.
If you are wearing braces the cleaning process may take longer. You will need to aim the water stream at the spaces and surfaces around each of the brackets.
If there is any water leftover empty it into the sink to prevent any growth of bacteria in the water reservoir.
Remember that water flossing is not meant to replace your toothbrush. Water flossing can be done either before or after brushing according to your preference.
Since you should be brushing your teeth twice a day, you should be water flossing at least once a day.
Do You Have To Floss Everyday With Braces?
Like traditional string flossing, water flossing must be done before or after each brushing.
Brushing must be done at least twice a day for proper oral hygiene.
Therefore the simple answer is whether you are wearing braces or not, you need to water floss or string floss at least once a day.
Is a water flosser safe for braces?
A water flosser is the safest, easiest, and most effective method of cleaning your teeth and braces. Improve your gum health and use the water flosser with the orthodontic tip attached specifically developed for cleaning braces. It is clinically proven to be more effective than using dental floss.
Is water flossing as good as regular flossing?
Standard dental floss is generally considered an effective tool for cleaning the tight spaces between the teeth. A water flosser is easy to use, quick, and helps remove food particles and plaque buildup from all around your teeth, which is more than dental floss will do. If also prevents bleeding and reduces gum disease – but is not a substitute for regular brushing.
How do you remove plaque from braces?
Standard dental floss is generally considered an effective tool for cleaning the tight spaces between the teeth. A water flosser is easy to use, quick, and helps remove food particles and plaque buildup from all around your teeth, which is more than dental floss will do. It also prevents bleeding and reduces gum disease – but is not a substitute for regular brushing.
What happens if you don’t floss with braces?
If you don’t floss you have a high possibility of developing the gum disease gingivitis. This makes your gums sensitive, red, and swollen. Gingivitis is caused by bacteria from leftover food between teeth and braces.
Do you have to floss every day with braces?
To ensure your teeth and gums stay clean and healthy, it is advisable to floss at least once a day. Braces are a trap for food and they need to be cleaned out regularly to stop bacteria creating gum disease.