A Basic Guide To Flossing With Braces

When you have braces, it is crucial for both your smile and your health that you brush and floss your teeth. With brackets and wires in the way, flossing, or using wax-coated thread to clean between teeth, scrubs the difficult-to-reach areas that are easily missed by brushes. Use a small interproximal brush to clean under the wires and around the brackets, and floss once daily between each tooth. Even though flossing takes longer with braces, don’t skip it. These flossing methods might facilitate a quicker and simpler procedure. Regardless of the technique, you decide on, it’s critical to floss frequently to avoid gum disease and tooth decay while your braces are straightening your teeth for a more attractive smile.

Traditional Flossing 

This tried-and-true flossing technique is excellent for removing food and plaque from in between teeth, but it can be challenging for people who have braces. It takes time to thread the floss around the brackets and wire. If you use this technique, allow yourself 10 to 15 minutes to floss your teeth. You only need waxed floss as a tool. Unwaxed floss tends to rip and get stuck in metal brackets.

How To Use Traditional Floss While Wearing Braces

  • Cut a piece of floss that is 18 to 24 inches long.
  • Insert the floss in the space between your teeth and the main wire. Being in front of a mirror makes it easier to monitor the thread and make sure it is moving in the desired direction.
  • To make handling the floss easier, wrap the ends around your index fingers.
  • Slide the floss up and down the sides of both teeth while gently pressing it between the two teeth. When painting the top teeth, form an upside-down U shape by painting one tooth’s side up to the gum line and the other tooth’s side down.
  • Take out the floss and carefully take it out from under the wire. Don’t force the floss out of the tooth, please. The wire could unintentionally be knocked out of the bracket.
  • Repeat the process on the following set of teeth.

Waterpik or Oral Irrigator

A Waterpik is a special tool that cleans in between teeth and along the gum line by applying a constant stream of water. The average price of a water flosser is $50, though some models are more expensive. You only need three to five minutes to floss with this device because of how effectively the stream of water cleans your mouth. Brands of Waterpiks with orthodontic tips are available. Compared to standard tips, these tapered tips can more easily clean in between teeth and around brackets.

How To Floss With A Waterpik

  • Pour water into the machine’s water tank. For an added antibacterial benefit, you can add mouthwash to the water. This is not necessary, though.
  • Attach the water flosser’s tapered tip. To test that the flosser is in good working order and that the water pressure is sufficient for you, press to send water through it.
  • With your mouth open, lean over the sink and insert the flosser’s tip.
  • Switch on the water flosser. To prevent water from splashing out of your mouth, purse your lips. While you are flossing, let the water drain from your mouth.
  • Move the water stream between each tooth and along the gum line.

If you want to remove any food or debris, you can gently brush the tooth and the brackets. Spray once more along the gum line and in between the teeth. Each tooth should have this procedure repeated along the front and back. When you’re done, drain the water from the reservoir and dry the flosser tip. To safeguard the tip, store it in a container with a lid.

Floss Threader 

With a cheap but essential tool, you can speed up the conventional flossing technique. The name of this tiny, plastic tool is a floss threader. You can easily pull floss behind the braces wire with the aid of a floss threader. Your dental hygiene routine will take much less time if you use a floss threader. Floss threaders are available in the oral care section of supermarkets and pharmacies. Before purchasing a full bag, your orthodontist may also have sample threaders you can try.

How To Use A Floss Threader To Floss With Braces

  • Thread a waxed floss piece measuring 18 to 24 inches through the floss threader’s eye.
  • Place the plastic needle’s point under the wire of your braces. Pull the floss slowly through the wire. With one hand, hold the floss threader.
  • To have more control over the fine thread, wrap the floss around your index fingers.
  • Slide the floss up and down the sides of both teeth while gently pressing it between the two teeth. When painting the top teeth, form an upside-down U shape by painting one tooth’s side up to the gum line and the other tooth’s side down.
  • Carefully pull the floss from behind the wire and from in between the teeth.
  • Thread the floss threader again and proceed to the following set of teeth.

Dental Tape

Traditional flossing can be painful for some people. For those who did not regularly floss before getting braces, this is especially true. When you first begin flossing, unhealthy gums may bleed and feel swollen. The gums will become healthier with time, and flossing might not hurt as much. Think about using dental tape to floss while your gums are sensitive. It is soft and spongy to hold this ultrathin floss. It is both wider and thinner than ordinary floss. This makes it easier for it to slide between teeth. Use dental tape in the same manner that you would regular floss.

General Tips And Tricks For Flossing With Braces

Dentist, Dentistry, 3d Scan

These best practices are a great way to help you maintain your pearly whites in addition to regular flossing.

1. Schedule Regular Cleanings

When you have braces, it’s a good idea to get cleanings from a dental hygienist. They can help prevent staining by thoroughly cleaning the area around the brackets and hardware. Think about having cleanings every three months.

2. Don’t Use Whitening Toothpaste

Even though you might believe that keeping your teeth white is a good idea, using whitening toothpaste while you brush could lead to issues down the road. Only the exposed portions of your teeth will be whitened because whitening agents cannot reach under the brackets. There might be some off-white spots on each tooth after the brackets are removed.

3. Consider Using An Electric Toothbrush

With less effort, you can achieve better results thanks to electric toothbrushes, which clean more than conventional manual brushes. Electric toothbrushes can cost $100 or more, but ask your dentist if there are any discounts or coupons available.

In Conclusion

A confident smile can be facilitated by braces. They may also lessen your likelihood of developing future oral health issues. However, maintaining good oral health while wearing braces is essential for a variety of reasons. Food and bacteria that can cause staining and cavities are removed by brushing and flossing. They can also stop gingivitis and other issues with oral health that might become problematic in later life.