Flossing with Braces
Not many people enjoy the process of flossing. For those who don’t do it much, it can be kind of awkward and adds more time to your morning or evening routine. Flossing with braces can be even more challenging. But flossing your teeth is a vital part of keeping your teeth in top shape and it is even more important during the process of orthodontics.
What Flossing Does for Your Teeth
Brushing with a manual or electric toothbrush after every meal, or at least twice a day, is a very effective way to keep the visible surfaces of your teeth clean. However, even the fast-moving bristles of an electric toothbrush cannot clean out the food particles and bacteria that get caught in between your teeth or work their way into your gums. Adding brackets and wires to the mix makes keeping these areas clean even more challenging.
Floss can reach those places your toothbrush can’t, which is why it’s important to brush and floss every day.
Types of Flossing Products
There are several types of flossing products to choose from, and some work better than others with braces.
Traditional dental floss. While effective for cleaning between teeth, traditional floss can be difficult to use with braces because it can start to shred and get caught on the brackets. Even people who don’t have braces but have closely spaced teeth can experience this same problem.
Waxed dental floss or tape. Adding wax to floss makes it easier to slide between teeth and less likely to get caught or shred. Dental tape is also less likely to get stuck because it is smooth and flat. However, both of these products can still be difficult to get in between braces.
Floss threader. This tool does exactly what it sounds like it should. It helps thread the floss into tight spots like the space between your teeth and braces, allowing it to clean those hard-to-reach places. Similarly, products like SuperFloss, have a pokey end that can easily get threaded through tight spots.
Floss Picks. Shaped like a “U” with a handle, these tools already have the floss on them. This can speed up the process and add convenience for people on the go. This can work well for those with braces too, but only if the arm holding the floss is thin enough to fit between the wire and teeth.
Water and air flossers. Both of these products use pressurized water to essentially blast food particles out from in between the teeth. While great as an added step in your cleaning routine, neither of these products should be used in place of regular flossing.
Flossing with Braces
Flossing with braces is done the same way as without braces, except that the floss has to be threaded under the wire. This can be done with or without a floss threader.
- Cut off 18 to 24 inches of floss.
- If using a floss threader, insert the ends of the threader between the wire and your teeth. Loop your floss over the threader and pull it between the wire and your teeth. If not using a threader, insert the floss between the wire and your teeth with your fingers.
- Wrap the ends of the floss around the first few fingers on each hand, then gently work the floss between the teeth, sliding up and down on the side of each tooth.
- Remove the floss, reinsert a clean section of it between the wires and each pair of teeth, and repeat the cleaning process.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water and dispose of floss.
Flossing thoroughly while you have braces will help ensure your smile from Fravel Brewer Orthodontics in Ocoee, Florida is healthy when your treatment is complete.
Fravel and Brewer Orthodontics has been helping patients achieve beautiful smiles as the preferred orthodontist in Winter Garden, Ocoee, and West Orange County, Florida for almost 30 years. Treatment options for kids and adults include Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, ceramic braces, and silver braces. Call us at (407) 656-0001 to schedule a free consultation today!