How To Floss With Braces | Dentist in Henderson NV | Vibrant Dental

How To Floss With Braces

Flossing with braces can feel incredibly daunting. The wires and brackets certainly make flossing harder! Flossing is an essential part of your oral health and will help prevent cavities and tooth decay while you have braces.

Here are the five steps to flossing with your braces.

1. Make Time to Floss Your Teeth

This might seem like a funny first step, but because flossing with braces can be difficult, many people with braces do not. Flossing while you have braces not only keeps your teeth and gums clean but can also help reduce pain.

We recommend using string floss and a floss threader. Regular flossing picks do not work with braces, and Waterpik flossers are not a complete substitute for regular flossing. Using a Waterpik on top of flossing can be a great idea to clean hard-to-reach areas though!

2. Thread Your Floss Threader

Your dentist should give you a floss threader, but if they don’t most grocery and drug stores have them in the oral hygiene section. Floss threaders assist you in getting the floss underneath the wire of your braces.

The threader will have a hole for your floss to go into and a thin piece of plastic attached to the hole. It is almost shaped like a balloon. To use your floss threader, nip a piece of floss at least six inches long. Once you have that piece of floss, slide it through the hole of the floss threader. Now you are ready to use it!

3. Use Your Floss Threader

Smile big and start with one of your front teeth. You may have to lift your lip with your non-dominant hand to see your braces wire. Once the wire of your braces is visible, gently place the thin plastic piece of the threader underneath the wire of your braces. Pull it underneath the wire until the floss is underneath the wire as well.

Once the floss is there, hold the floss in place under the wire and pull the threader off the floss. If you have ever sewn, just think of pulling a needle off of the thread. Make sure the floss stays underneath your braces!

4. Floss Between Your Teeth

Now that you have floss underneath your braces, you can grab the front and back of the floss and gently lift, flossing like normal. Be careful that the floss does not unthread itself. You will need to keep a firm hold on the floss the entire time.

While you floss, be sure to bring the floss to your gums. Pull the floss forwards and backward as well as left and right slightly, to get any pieces of food unstuck. Your gums may be sensitive while you have braces, so exercise gentleness while still being thorough.

5. Repeat

Now that you have done it on one tooth, repeat for every space between your teeth. This process can take a while, but it is worth it! Flossing keeps plaque and bacteria from gathering between your teeth, preventing cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues from developing.

*Bonus Steps*

After you brush your teeth and floss, you can also use a braces brush or water pick clean out any food that your toothbrush may have missed. The brush looks like a mini bottle cleaner, and you can scrub around your brackets and under the wires of your braces with it. It is most helpful to do this after you brush to get hard-to-reach spots.

Care For Your Braces

Caring for your braces helps them straighten your teeth without causing other dental problems. If you need braces or are interested in getting braces, schedule an appointment today.

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