How To Floss with Braces?
Many patients understand that extra care is needed when brushing and flossing with braces. The simple fact is you have to get the floss under the wire so you can floss.
One way of getting the floss under the wire is with a floss threader. A floss threader is a stiff plastic that has a loop where the floss is placed through. Once the floss threader pulls the floss under the wire, you can then floss.
The other way is by using Superfloss. Oral B’s Superfloss are pre-cut floss with a floss threader made on the end of the floss. This is a little easier because you don’t have to place the floss through the loop of the floss threader and hold it in the loop as you pull the threader under the wire. Superfloss is easier for young patients and people who have poor manual dexterity.
Both of these items can be found in the dental section of your drug store.
Another option to floss with braces is by using a Waterpik, which is an effective alternative, to manual or string floss; you can floss with water instead of string!
Plaque cannot be removed by brushing. You have to floss to dislodge it and rinse it away.
Dental plaque lives in our mouth all of our lives and it grows from the sugar we eat. It has to be removed daily or calculus (dead plaque) will form. If this calculus stays against the gum, it will cause gum inflammation, gum disease, bone loss and eventually tooth loss. You should floss every day, even with braces.
How Do You Floss?
Here are the steps to floss your teeth with braces:
- Pull out more than 12″ of floss.
- Use a floss threader or super floss to thread the floss under the wire of the braces.
- Wrap the floss on your middle fingers. You will use your thumb and index finger to move the floss up and down. Do not move the floss side to side between the teeth because you could cut or hurt your gums.
- Move the floss through the contact point between the teeth. If the floss breaks, get another piece of floss and bring it through the contact area again.
- Wrap the floss around one tooth. Move the floss up and down and go below the gums. You will notice plaque coming out from between the gum and the tooth.
- While keeping the floss between the teeth and below the contact, wrap the floss around the other tooth. Proceed to floss on the other side of the gum.
- Let go of the floss and then with the other hand, pull the floss out from the mouth.
- Now repeat the process.
Make sure that you are systematic and start in one place of the mouth and move from one tooth to the next. When a patient has braces, it takes a lot longer time to floss. Give yourself enough time to do a good job. Flossing is very important in reducing the chances of gum disease. Floss daily for healthy gums.
If you need help with flossing your teeth just ask one of our assistants and she will go over flossing with you again.