Flossing With Braces: A Helpful Guide

Dentist Blog

When you got your braces, your dentist probably emphasized to you just how important it is to keep your teeth clean. After all, food particles that build up on your braces and teeth can perpetuate decay and gum disease, which is not at all the desired outcome of wearing your teeth-straightening devices for a year or more. Brushing is not too hard, but a lot of patients struggle to floss effectively when wearing braces. Here are a few tips that will help.

Use waxed, extra thin floss.

Don't just grab the first floss you see on the dollar store shelf. There are many types of dental floss (you may need to visit a pharmacy rather than a grocery store or dollar store to find them.) The best type for braces wearers is extra thin and waxed. The wax helps the floss glide between your teeth without fraying, and the extra thin floss is better at fitting in the more narrow spaces that form as a result of your teeth shifting as the braces work.

Use plenty of floss.

A short strand of floss is hard to manipulate since it will keep slipping out from between your fingers. Instead, use a really long piece of floss and wind it around your fingers a few times. This will allow you to floss with more stability.

Thread the floss carefully.

You'll need to pass the floss under the main wire of your braces before pushing it down between your teeth. Take your time when doing this. Pass the floss under the wire, wind the floss around your fingers, and then press it down between your teeth. Do this gently – if you force the floss down or "pop" it up, you may damage your braces. Once you've flossed between two teeth, pull the floss out and re-thread it under the main wire before flossing between the next set of teeth. Don't try to slide it from tooth to tooth while it's under the main wire – this is a great way to bend your braces wires.

Do half of your mouth in the morning and the other half at night.

Flossing with braces takes a long time. If you're getting frustrated and giving up halfway through, try making the task easier by splitting it up. Floss half your teeth in the morning and the other half at night. This way, you'll be able to tackle the teeth you do floss each time with more care and caution.

For more information, visit websites like http://www.drclschneiderdentalcare.com.


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