Mastering flossing techniques with dental braces can be challenging, especially if you have never done it before. However, with a little bit of practice and the right tools, you can maintain good oral health even while wearing braces. Here we will explain why flossing is still important when wearing braces and tips to help you floss and keep your teeth, gums, and braces clean.
Why Flossing is Important, Especially When You Have Braces
Just like you need to brush your teeth twice a day, you also need to floss gently at least once a day. Flossing helps remove plaque and bacteria from in-between your teeth and under your gum line – places where your toothbrush can’t reach.
Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque isn’t removed, it can harden and turn into tartar or calculus. Tartar buildup can not only lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems, but it can also make your braces more challenging to keep clean. When you have braces, flossing daily is even more important to keep plaque and tartar away.
How to Floss With Braces
Fortunately, flossing with braces is easy, no matter how complicated your orthodontic treatment is. Here are a few tips to make flossing easier and more effective:
- Use a floss threader to help pass the floss under the archwires.
- Start with about 18 inches of floss, and hold it taut.
- Gently insert the floss between two teeth and wrap it around the tooth.
- Move the floss up and down, scraping against the sides of each tooth.
- When you get to the gum line, curve the floss into a C shape and slide it under the gum.
- Use a clean section of floss for each tooth.
- Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after you’re finished.
If you have any questions about how to floss with braces, please don’t hesitate to ask our dental professionals.
Types of Dental Floss You Can Use with Braces
Maintaining healthy teeth can seem like a challenge when wearing braces, but our team is here to help make life with braces easier for you. Luckily, there are plenty of types of dental floss that you can use with braces.
Traditional Dental Floss
Traditional flossing with string dental floss is still an option when you have braces. The only downside is that it can be difficult to maneuver the floss around your wires and into all of the nooks and crannies of your teeth. Wax-covered thread is easier to use because it slides between teeth more efficiently, reducing the risk of damaging your braces or cutting your gums. Unwaxed floss is not as thick as waxed floss, so it is more likely to get caught on your braces.
This type of floss is made with a thin plastic ribbon and is easier to grip than traditional floss. However, it can be more difficult to use around braces, so it may not be the best option for flossing with braces.
These small, plastic tools help you thread dental floss around your braces. They can make it easier to reach some of the tighter areas between teeth, but they can also be tricky to use.
Water Flosser or Pick
If you have trouble using traditional floss or a floss threader, you may want to try using a water flosser or pick. These devices shoot a stream of water between teeth to help remove plaque and bacteria. Water flossers are especially beneficial for people with braces because they can help remove food particles and plaque from around the brackets and wires.
With some practice, flossing with braces will become second nature. Be gentle and take your time to avoid damaging your braces or injuring your gums. And if you have any questions, our team at Mann Family Dental is always here to help.