Tooth Tips: How to Use Dental Floss with Braces

Feb 14, 2023 | About Orthodontics

girl with braces smiling outside

Are you struggling to floss with braces? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Flossing with braces can be a bit tricky, but it’s crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing cavities. Luckily, Pura Vida Orthodontics has some tips and tricks on flossing properly during your orthodontic journey. From choosing the right tools to developing a proper technique, we’ve got you covered.

So, let’s get started and ensure your smile stays happy and healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment!

Is It Harder to Use Traditional Floss with Braces?

Cleaning teeth with traditional dental floss can be challenging and time-consuming when you have braces. The archwire (the main wire that runs between the brackets) prevents the floss from sliding all the way to the gum line between teeth. This can make it difficult to effectively remove food debris and plaque with regular floss. And we all know how important it is to floss daily!

However, there are special tools and techniques designed specifically for flossing with braces. These include floss threaders, orthodontic floss, dental tape, and water flossers, which can help you reach those hard-to-reach areas and maintain good oral hygiene while you’re creating your dream smile.

Floss with Braces to Prevent Tooth Decay & Gum Disease

Traditional flossing and flossing with braces are vital to a lifetime of healthy smiles. Alongside fluoride toothpaste, mouthwash, and a soft toothbrush, flossing helps you keep your mouth and teeth clean.

When getting braces, your orthodontist will tell you to start flossing all your teeth to protect your oral health during treatment. In removing plaque buildup through floss and brushing, you don’t just remove plaque and food particles from teeth – you also prevent gingivitis, gum bleeding, cavities, bad breath, and more!

toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss with braces

Steps to Flossing – Start by taking an 18″ long piece of waxed floss (unwaxed floss will get caught in your braces!). Next, pull one end of the floss between your wire and teeth. Wrap the ends around your index fingers and use a little bit of pressure to gently pull the floss between your teeth. Holding the wax-covered thread in a “C” shape, gently slide it into your gums and along the sides of each tooth. Repeat this process for one tooth after another until you’ve flossed the front teeth and back teeth!

Wearing braces makes using floss harder, but we have all kinds of options for making sure that your entire mouth is spotless while you’re correcting your smile. Let’s take a look!

Floss Threader

If you’re having trouble inserting your dental floss between your wires and teeth, using a floss threader can make your life so much simpler.

Like a sewing needle, this small, thin plastic tool has a large loop on the end of a handle that you can use to tie or thread floss through. You can more easily navigate with the plastic needle flosser tip and save time getting around the arch wire.

Orthodontic Floss

Using an orthodontic floss threader requires very little work to floss regularly. With this flossing tool, string floss is held tightly between two “arms” so that you don’t have to hold it. While these are single-use, they are good for on-the-go flossing!

Water Flosser

If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional flossing methods, a water flosser may be worth considering.

This oral irrigator is a new flosser that uses a water stream to clean between teeth and around braces, providing a thorough and effective cleaning experience. In fact, dentists and orthodontists often use this method during routine cleanings to remove pesky debris from hard-to-reach areas.

While it shouldn’t replace brushing or daily flossing, using a water flosser as an additional step in your oral hygiene routine can help provide a deep clean that leaves you feeling fresh and healthy.

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