Daily flossing seems to be a hard job, so people often ignore it. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), interdental cleaners such as floss are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. Interdental cleaning is proven to help remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque buildup. Flossing and performing personal and oral hygiene becomes even more important and difficult when you have braces. Read on to find out more.
Can you floss with braces?
People wearing braces mostly face problem while they are flossing as the thread get stuck in the wires and makes them feel uncomfortable. However, it should be kept in mind that a pleasant smile and oral health cannot be achieved through orthodontic treatment by itself but by taking care of your teeth closely. Actually in all types of orthodontic treatments, protecting teeth in treatment duration speaks louder. That is where floss braces come in.
How to floss braces?
The reason flossing with braces is so difficult is due to the wire running through each brace, connecting them, known as the archwire. This wire prevents you from flossing your teeth the traditional way as it does not all the floss to come all the way up between your teeth. Fortunately, there is a method for getting around this snag.
To floss with braces, begin by threading the floss through each gap behind the wire of your braces, making sure not to pull on the wire with the floss. Once you have gotten the floss through, proceed to run the floss gently between your teeth. Repeat this process until you have flossed between all your teeth.
As a consumer, you have several different options when it comes to choosing the right type of floss for the job. The following tools are commonly used during orthodontic treatment for flossing.
A helpful tool called a floss threader can assist you with the more traditional flossing with braces method. Floss threaders help you place the floss behind your braces. A floss threader looks similar to a small plastic needle. Thread a piece of floss into the eye of the floss threader then move the plastic needle under the archwire of your braces and pull the floss through. After the floss is under the archwire you can floss your teeth like you normally would. When you are done with one tooth, remove the floss, and repeat the process with the same floss threader.
Floss picks are a popular product for many orthodontics patients. Floss picks hold the floss for you, making it extremely convenient since you only have to use one hand. While they may be convenient, they are not as effective as regular floss. Floss picks do not allow you to reach all the necessary angles that normal floss can. When you floss, you should strive to complete a “C” around the tooth and go up and down to completely clean the tooth. While regular floss is recommended, braces floss picks are better than not flossing at all if you find the traditional method isn’t working for you.
Water flosser or “oral irrigator” is another popular tool used to help with flossing with braces. Much like the name suggests, water flossers are flossing devices that use a stream of pulsating water to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth. Water flossers not only remove plaque, but they also improve your gingival health. The machine has a water reservoir that connects to a device resembling a toothbrush. By adding mouthwash to the water in your water flosser you can also increase the antibacterial protection this tool offers you.
Proxy brushes are small, flexible, pointed brushes that have bristles that look similar to a pine tree. Their unique shape makes them ideal for cleaning behind braces. To use a proxy brush, insert the brush under the wire and between the teeth, then scrub to clean. You can also use a bit of toothpaste on the proxy brush for better cleaning. It is important to note that proxy brushes are not suggested as a replacement for flossing with braces. They should be used along with flossing to ensure that all the areas around your teeth stay clean.
How often should you floss with braces?
As flossing plays a great role in teeth health, in addition to brushing your teeth twice a day, it is recommended to floss at least once a day. Remember to do it as a part of a daily oral hygiene routine. No matter which dental braces services you choose, thorough cleaning seems vital to achieve the desired result.
How to floss with braces without threader?
If you decide not to use a water flosser, floss threader, floss pick, or proxy brush and want to use traditional floss for braces, you can! Follow the steps below for success with traditional flossing with braces:
- Pick a waxed floss. A lot of people prefer wax-coated floss because it slides in and out of your teeth more easily than unwaxed floss.
- Tear off a piece of floss that is about 12-18 inches in length.
- Gently thread the floss behind the archwire.
- Grab the ends of the floss in each hand. Wrap the floss ends around your fingers to secure your grip.
- Move your index finger inside your mouth gently moving the floss so that it cleans the spaces between your teeth.
- Move the floss up and down cleaning the sides of your teeth–the sides your toothbrush can’t clean. Complete a “C” around the tooth and go up and down to completely clean the tooth.
- Carefully remove the floss so that it doesn’t catch on your brackets
- Repeat for each tooth until all teeth have been thoroughly cleaned.
The bottom line is that flossing is a key ingredient to maintaining good oral hygiene, especially if you have braces. Although flossing with braces can be a daunting task, it’s really not that bad. With a little patience and commitment, you can easily make flossing a part of your daily routine and help ensure a beautiful, long-lasting smile.