If you are new to braces, you may be overwhelmed with the idea of flossing while wearing them. After all, there are so many wires and brackets - how in the world are you supposed to maneuver floss between each of your teeth?
Many people have had braces and have learned how to floss effectively. And, with a little practice, you can do the same.
The Importance of Flossing
When you eat, particles and debris from the food, as well as bacteria, have many places to go within your mouth - especially when you have braces. Lots of crevices give these particles many places to hide and, unfortunately, your toothbrush may not be able to reach them.
It’s evident - you need floss. If the bacteria and particles aren’t removed, your oral health will be impacted - potentially leading to concerns of tooth decay, gum disease, or bad breath.
Flossing with Braces
Braces include brackets that are attached to each tooth with a wire that connects them all together, going from tooth to tooth. Flossing like you normally would by sliding the floss up ( or down) toward the gums between each tooth is no longer an option. Rather, with braces, it is necessary for you to slip the floss behind the archwire and then pull the floss up (or down) between the teeth.
Flossing this way, one at a time, is very possible, despite seeming time-consuming to start with. The more you practice, the easier it will get. Remember, you should floss at least once per day.
Methods and Tools for Flossing with Braces
Because flossing is so important, there are various methods and tools for getting the job done when you have braces. That way, you can choose what works for you.
First up is traditional dental floss that comes in various forms, such as multi- or single-strand or waxed / non-waxed. All work well when used, but for braces, you want a floss that will easily glide between teeth and around braces without getting stuck or caught on the hardware. So, what’s the best floss to use? Single-strand, waxed floss tends to be the easiest, most preferred.
Another option is a floss threader which can be helpful in getting the floss under the archwire so that you can more easily floss between the teeth. These threaders look like large plastic needles.
Lastly, water flossers - sometimes referred to as oral irrigators - are common for those who want to floss - without the floss. They make it simple because you just use water and don’t have to worry about finding your way around the braces. High-pressured water effectively cleans between the teeth in a manner equivalent to flossing.
Learn More About Braces Care
At Attleboro Family Dental Care, we want you to have a beautiful smile when you are done with your braces treatment. And, that means caring for your teeth while wearing them. Our team will show you everything you need to know - including how to floss effectively with your braces.