Flossing with braces is often a tricky task. A lot of children, teens and even some adults aren’t aware that they can still floss their teeth if they have braces. In fact, it’s important to floss because braces can trap food particles, increasing the risk of gum diseases and cavities.
There are several products and techniques for flossing your teeth. The main thing is to take your time, follow the right method and stick to a consistent dental routine. Here are some essential tips to make it easier for you to floss your teeth when you have braces.
- Use the Right Floss
There are several types of dental floss available. However, not all types of floss are suitable for teeth with braces. Waxed floss works best in these cases as they can slip easily between each tooth. Usually, a stiffer floss than regular floss is ideal for cleaning between braces. Never use unwaxed floss as it can get caught on the braces and leave shreds of floss behind.
Water flossers are available if you’re uncomfortable using standard dental floss. They’re motorized units mostly used in dental offices. Water flossers force out small pulsating streams of water between the teeth to clear food debris and plaque. Although they’re not as effective as dental floss, they help keep the teeth and gums healthy.
- Use a Floss Threader
Sliding the floss above the wire to reach between the teeth is difficult when you wear braces. It’s like passing a thread through a needle. The wires have very little brace against it and it can break if you push the floss too hard.
An orthodontic floss threader or a floss needle, is an inexpensive tool that helps you pull the floss between the teeth and reach the gum line without creating any issues with the braces and its wires. Once you guide the threader with the floss at one end through the space between the teeth and wires, you can follow the standard flossing steps as mentioned below.
- Follow the Right Steps
Flossing properly is very important to maintain the health of your braces as well as your teeth and gums.
- Take the piece of floss and pass it behind the wire between two teeth with the help of a threader. Make sure to insert it in the space between the teeth and the gums.
- Push the floss down near the gums gently till you can no longer push it down further.
- Wrap the floss around the base of a tooth.
- Slide the floss in a back and forth motion like a saw with a controlled pressure to remove food particles and plaque.
- Remove the floss by moving it in the same sawing motion.
- Rinse your mouth with water after cleaning each space between the teeth and gums.
Parents should actively encourage proper dental care with their kids and teenage children, especially when they have braces. They need to take more care of their teeth than people without braces. Make sure that they regularly floss their teeth to prevent plaque buildup and gingivitis.