Can't Get Dental Floss Between Your Teeth? What Your Dentist Or Orthodontist Might Do About It

Posted on: 4 July 2016

If you have a really difficult time with getting dental floss between your teeth, you may experience bleeding gums when you are able to get the floss through and it has to be forced through the teeth and cuts the gums. You may also experience a higher percentage of cavities in between your teeth because you cannot floss properly. Your dentist will undoubtedly note these conditions when examining your teeth. He or she may suggest one or more of the following treatments for teeth that are too close together and prevent dental floss from doing its job.

Metal Flossing Filers

Orthodontists and cosmetic dentists frequently use these devices to create more space between teeth when there is not enough space or to create a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. (If your dentist refers you to someone who performs cosmetic dentistry or to an orthodontist, it is because your dentist either does not perform a filing procedure of this sort, or he/she wants a second opinion before choosing to file your teeth with these metal flossing filers.)

If your dentist does perform filing of this sort, then these tiny metal slips are inserted around a tooth, with the rough side facing the tooth your dentist wants to file, and moved back and forth, up and down to the gumline, until enough of the tooth has been filed away. The dentist then tests this tooth by flossing both sides of it. If the floss fits easily in between the teeth down to the gums, the metal flossing filer has accomplished the job. If not, your dentist will try again with another flossing filer until there is enough space between your teeth for dental floss to slip through.

Installing Orthodontic Spacers

Another approach to fixing your tightly packed teeth is to install orthodontic spacers. While this cost may be covered by insurance for children, it generally is not covered for adults, which means you will need to see a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist and pay out of pocket. The spacers may include tooth caps that force the teeth to make a millimeter or two of space in between tooth surfaces, as well as a palate spreader to create more space across the expanse of the roof of your mouth. If your teeth are especially tight together, to the point where they are forcing each other out of your mouth and causing loose teeth, the cosmetic dentist may either remove some teeth to make room or surgically open your palate and jaw to expand them (since your mouth as an adult will no longer grow and flexibly move the way the dentist/orthodontist wants it to).

Contact a cosmetic dentistry specialist for more information.