Getting braces changes a lot about your daily life. You may eat differently and even brush and floss your teeth in a different way. Flossing is particularly challenging with traditional metal braces because the archwire gets in the way and the bands around your back molars make it difficult to get the floss in between your teeth.
Flossing is a very important part of your regular dental hygiene routine, or at least it should be. Flossing removes food particles and plaque from in between your teeth where it likes to hide. When it is not removed, it feeds the bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities. The area between your teeth is just as susceptible to cavities, possibly even more so. And since your braces may be on for as long as 3 years in some cases, you shouldn’t go that long without properly flossing.
How exactly are you supposed to floss your teeth while you have braces? The traditional method involves simply threading the floss under the archwire between each tooth and then flossing like you normally would. That can be difficult and tedious. But there are different techniques and equipment that can make it easier.
A floss threader is simply a plastic needle-shaped instrument that makes it easier to thread the floss under your archwire. You simply thread the floss through the plastic needle like you would thread and a sewing needle. Then you thread the needle under your archwire, wrap it around your fingers, and slide the floss down between your teeth and back up again. Use the threader to help you get the floss under the archwire between each tooth.
Super floss is a product that is similar to regular floss, but with enhancements. One such enhancement is a reinforced end to the floss that makes it easier to thread under the archwire. It’s like having a floss threader needle built in. The reinforced end is similar to the hard end of a shoestring. Super floss also contains spongy floss that flattens to fit into tight spaces between teeth and then expands to fill the space between your teeth and remove plaque.
Another way to floss with braces is to use a waterpik. This machine sprays high pressure water into the spaces between your teeth to remove and rinse out plaque. Think of it like a pressure washer for your teeth, as the pressurized water blasts the food and plaque off your teeth in hard to reach places between the teeth and around brackets and bands.
How Often Should You Floss With Braces?
It is recommended that everyone floss once a day, and the same is true when you have braces. Daily flossing is important for tooth and gum health. It helps to keep you from developing cavities between your teeth and helps to prevent gum disease. Flossing makes your gums stronger and more resilient to bacteria and other damage.
TenderSmiles4Kids Can Provide You With Instructions for Flossing with Braces
If you’re not sure how to floss your teeth with braces and need more information, TenderSmiles4Kids can help. We provide you with floss threaders to help you get a start on proper flossing technique with braces. If you choose to try a waterpik or superfloss, you can purchase these items at pharmacies or anywhere dental equipment is sold. We can show you in our office how to floss your teeth when you first get your braces put on or anytime after that.
Contact us at any of our 4 convenient locations: