air flossing and water flossing, what are they?

What Are Air Flossing and Water Flossing?

While getting orthodontic treatment with Invisalign or braces will allow you to get straight teeth and set you up for better oral health, the process itself does make you more susceptible to tooth decay. This is the result of food particles getting trapped in orthodontic appliances like braces or Invisalign trays. Because of this, it’s especially important to keep up with regular cleaning. In addition to your typical routine of brushing your teeth and flossing every day, you can supplement extra cleaning by using air flossers or water flossers.

What Is Water Flossing?

There are several options you can choose for water flossers, with Waterpik being the most notable example. These devices create a focused, high-pressure stream of water out of a nozzle. This stream of water can “blast” away food particles stuck between your teeth and along your gum line. If you have trouble getting food out of tight spaces in your brackets, using this type of device can be helpful.

To use, you’ll need to fill a compartment with warm water before each use. You’ll also need to prepare the nozzle each time by setting the pressure setting to high and letting out a short spray into the sink. After this, set the pressure to low and gradually increase the pressure once the nozzle is in your mouth. Using a water flosser, you can in between each tooth and along your gum line.

Air Flosser

Another way to supplement your daily teeth cleaning routine is to use an air flosser. Philips Sonicare Airfloss is the most well-known air flosser on the market and is a dependable choice. While this oral-hygiene device uses water like a water flosser, it also sprays out air with the stream of water for added effectiveness.

Similar to the water flosser, you’ll need to fill up a small compartment with water before each use. After filling the compartment, you can begin cleaning. In comparison to the water flosser, an air flosser isn’t quite as precise. Because of this, you’ll only use an air flosser to clean in between your teeth from the outside. When using an air flosser to clean your teeth, align the nozzle in between your teeth before turning it on. You’ll need to turn it off before aligning the nozzle to the next position.

Cleaning Your Teeth with Braces

It’s important to note that using an air flosser or water flosser isn’t a substitution for regular string floss, but it is a great way to further ensure your teeth are free of food particles. If you brush your teeth with toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush after every meal, floss every day, and supplement your cleaning routine with an air flosser or water flosser, you will reduce your chances of tooth decay during orthodontic treatment.

Contact Charleston Orthodontic Specialists today to learn more about your options for orthodontic treatment and caring for your braces.

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