How to Floss With Braces (Four Unique Methods to Apply)
How to floss with braces. Cleaning and flossing your teeth while wearing braces is critical for your smile and health. Flossing, or cleaning between teeth with wax-covered thread, scrubs the hard-to-reach places that brush miss, especially with brackets and wires in the way.
How to Floss With Braces
Flossing is important, even if it takes longer with braces. These flossing techniques may help to speed up and simplify the process.
No matter which method you use, flossing on a regular basis is essential to preventing gum disease and tooth decay while braces are working to align your teeth for a more confident smile.
This tried-and-true flossing technique is a great way to clean food and plaque from between teeth, but it can be difficult for people who wear braces. It takes time to wrap the floss around the brackets and wire.
If you use this method, allow yourself 10 to 15 minutes to floss your teeth. The only tool required is waxed floss. Unwaxed floss has a tendency to tear and become entangled in metal brackets.
How to Use Traditional Floss with Braces
Cut an 18- to 24-inch piece of floss.
Thread the floss through the main wire and between your teeth. It’s helpful to do this in front of a mirror so you can watch the thread to ensure it’s going in the right direction.
Wrap the floss ends around your index fingers to make them easier to handle.
Gently slide the floss between the two teeth, then up and down the sides of both teeth. Make an upside-down U shape with the top teeth: go up the side of one tooth to the gum line, then down the side of the other tooth.
Remove the floss and gently unthread it from behind the wire. Be careful to not pop the floss out of the tooth. You might accidentally knock the wire and pop it out of the bracket.
Move to the next pair of teeth and repeat the process.
Waterpik or Oral Irrigator
A Waterpik is a one-of-a-kind tool that cleans between teeth and along the gumline with a steady stream of water. A water flosser typically costs around $50, though some models are more expensive.
Because the stream of water is so effective at cleaning your mouth, you only need three to five minutes to floss with this device.
Waterpiks with orthodontia tips are available from some manufacturers. These tapered tips clean more easily around brackets and between teeth than standard tips.
How to Floss With a Waterpik
Fill the machine’s water reservoir with water. You can add mouthwash to the water for an antibacterial bonus. However, this isn’t necessary.
- Insert the tapered tip on the water flosser. Press to send water through the flosser to ensure it’s working correctly and that the water pressure is intense enough for you.
- Lean over the sink, and place the tip of the flosser in your mouth.
- Turn the water flosser on. Close your lips to keep water from splashing out of your mouth. Allow the water to drain out of your mouth while you’re flossing.
- Glide the water stream along the gumline and between each tooth.
- If you want, you can gently brush the tooth and brackets to loosen up any food or debris.
- Then, spray between the teeth and along the gumline again.
- Repeat this process along the front and back of each tooth.
- When you’re finished, empty the reservoir of water, and dry the flosser tip. Store in a closed container to protect the tip.
With an inexpensive but indispensable tool, you can speed up the traditional flossing method. A floss threader is a small, plastic tool. Using a floss threader, you can easily pull floss behind the braces wire.
Using a floss threader will shorten your dental care routine by several minutes. Floss threaders are available in the oral care section of supermarkets and pharmacies. Your orthodontist may also have sample threaders you can try before purchasing a full bag.
How to Use a Floss Threader to Floss With Braces
Pull an 18- to 24-inch piece of waxed floss through the eye of the floss threader.
- Insert the point of the plastic needle under the wire of your braces. Gently pull the floss through the wire. Hold the floss threader in one hand.
- Wrap the floss around your index fingers to give you more control over the thin thread.
- Gently press the floss between the two teeth, and slide it up and down along the sides of both teeth. If you’re doing the top teeth, make an upside-down U shape: Go up the side of one tooth to the gum line, and then go down the side of the other tooth.
- Gently pull the floss out from between the teeth, and pull the floss out from behind the wire.
- Rethread the floss threader, and repeat the process on the next set of teeth.
Traditional flossing can be painful for some people. This is especially true for people who did not floss regularly prior to getting braces.
When you first start flossing, your gums may bleed and feel swollen. The gums will become healthier over time, and flossing may no longer be necessary.
Consider flossing with dental tape if your gums are sensitive. This ultrathin floss has a smooth and spongy texture. It’s thinner than regular floss and wider than ribbon. This allows it to glide more easily between teeth.
Use dental tape the same way you would traditional floss.
Braces can aid in the development of a confident smile. They can also lower your chances of developing oral health issues in the future. Taking care of your teeth while wearing braces takes time, but you’ll be glad you did when the braces come off and your smile is beautiful and healthy.
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