Flossing is a very important part of oral hygiene that should be done at least once a day. When you have braces, flossing is extra important since things often get stuck in your teeth, or in between the wires and your teeth. Flossing with braces can be a bit more difficult than flossing without braces, since the wires get in the way of maneuvering the floss up and down the whole side of each of your teeth. However, there are ways to successfully floss with braces if you use patience.
Types of Floss and Flossing Tools
Use waxed floss so it will not get caught on your braces. If you thread floss under the arch wire first, you can reach in between teeth from there and cover the whole length in between each tooth. This is easier with a floss threader. Flossing with a floss threader will take longer, since you will have to re-thread the floss in between each set of two teeth, but it is worth taking the extra time for a thorough job. Some floss already comes with a stiff end and is pre-cut, so if you can find this kind of floss, you will not need a floss threader.
When you are flossing, be sure to reach both between teeth and underneath the gums. Flossing will not be effective in protecting you from gingivitis and gum disease if you don’t get rid of the plaque and germs in between both your teeth and gums. If you are not sure of the best method to use to floss with braces, ask your orthodontist to show you.
Alternatives to Floss
As an alternative to floss, you could use a proxy brush to clean under the wire and in between your teeth. This brush looks like a little Christmas tree or a pipe cleaner. There are also water flosser systems that can clean between your teeth with water and a tapered brush. These are more expensive than regular floss, ranging from $38.00 to $70.00.
No matter what kind of floss or flossing system you choose, be sure to take your time and floss regularly.