Brushing your teeth without flossing is comparable to washing only 65% of your body.
Flossing your teeth helps to reduce dental plaque, tartar, bleeding gums, and bad breath. It also helps prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, gum disease, and tooth loss and has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
If you have braces, brushing and flossing your teeth may seem challenging. Despite this, it’s essential to continue practicing a daily healthy dental hygiene routine.
Are you unsure how to floss your teeth with braces? Please read our guide for some helpful tips and to learn what your options are.
Depending on your orthodontic needs, there are many types of braces available. No matter which you choose, it’s critical to continue to brush and floss your teeth daily to guarantee a picture-perfect, healthy smile when the process ends.
Traditional flossing is a reliable way to clean between your teeth, but it can be challenging with braces. Give yourself plenty of time and have patience with the process.
Follow These Steps to Floss With Braces Successfully:
- Cut at least an 18-inch piece of waxed floss
- Using a mirror, thread the waxed floss between the primary wire and your teeth
- Wrap the floss around your index fingers for easy handling
- Press the floss between your two teeth, and gently slide it along the sides of each tooth
- Remove the floss from your teeth and carefully unthread it from behind the wire
Make sure to use only waxed floss as unwaxed can tear and stick to the metal brackets of your braces.
Oral Irrigator or Waterpik
An effective way to clean your teeth with braces is to use a Waterpik.
A Waterpik uses a steady stream of water to clean along your gumline and in between your teeth. While it’s undoubtedly more expensive than traditional floss, the investment will save you plenty of time and energy.
Follow These Guidelines When Using a Waterpik:
- Fill the Waterpiks water reservoir with water
- Insert the tip onto the flosser and check that the water pressure is strong enough
- Leaning over the sink, place the end of the flosser in your mouth and turn the machine on
- Close your lips to keep the water in but allow the water to drain out while you’re flossing
- Move the water stream slowly along your gumline and in between each tooth
Some brands of Waterpiks offer tapered tips specially made for braces and other orthodontic methods. They can clean around the brackets more efficiently and are easier to use than the standard tips.
You can speed up the process of flossing your teeth with braces by using a floss threader.
A floss threader is an inexpensive, small plastic tool that helps pull floss behind the wire of your braces easily. You can purchase floss threaders at supermarkets and drug stores, or you can ask your orthodontist if they provide samples for you to try.
Follow These Steps When Using a Floss Threader:
- Pull at least an 18-inch piece of floss through the eye of the threader
- Insert the tip of the plastic needle under the wire and gently pull the floss through
- Hold the floss threader in one hand
- Wrap the floss around your index fingers and press the floss between your two teeth
- Floss between your teeth as usual
- Slowly pull the floss out from between your teeth and from behind the wire
- Rethread the floss threader and repeat
Again, make sure only to use waxed floss and work carefully to not pop off the wire from the brackets of your braces.
Traditional flossing can be painful, especially if you weren’t flossing regularly before getting braces.
Unhealthy gums often bleed and become swollen when you first start flossing them. This discomfort tends to go away with time and as your gums become healthier, but there are ways to help in the meantime. Consider flossing with dental tape to ease any discomfort.
Dental tape is thinner and softer than your standard floss but is also wider like a ribbon. It glides between teeth gently and effectively cleans the hard-to-reach places between your teeth with minimal irritation.
Use dental tape to floss your teeth just as you would with traditional floss.
Extra Tips For a Healthy Smile
In addition to regular flossing, there are several things you can do to ensure your teeth stay healthy while you have braces. Some essential oral hygiene practices to consider include:
- Schedule a cleaning with a dental hygienist every three months
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Avoid whitening toothpaste
- Use an electric toothbrush
Following these simple guidelines will help keep your teeth clean and will ensure a healthy and beautiful smile when it’s time for your orthodontist to take your braces off.
How to Floss Your Teeth With Braces: Use the Method That Works For You
Now that you know how to floss your teeth with braces, you’re well on your way to a healthier smile.
Developing a daily dental hygiene routine is essential for your overall physical and oral health and guarantees you’ll maintain a beautiful smile long after your braces come off. While there are several correct ways to floss with braces, the important thing is to find a method that works for you and stick with it.
Contact us today if you have any questions and for more information on your oral health. We are here to help!