Got braces? Congrats, you are on your way to begin teeth realignment and preserve your beautiful smile. Taking care of your oral hygiene is mandatory, especially when you have space maintainers like braces. Research states that gum disease or periodontitis leads to tooth loss. 1
Flossing with braces will seem challenging initially, but soon it will become your second habit. Firstly, let’s check out its advantages:
Benefits of Flossing
Brushing can’t remove food leftover and debris completely from your teeth; flossing helps to do that. Besides, your teeth and gums look better after flossing, making you feel good.
Other benefits of flossing include the following:
- Removes plaque
- Prevents gum disease
- It may help your heart health
- Decreases the risk of cavities 4
- Reduces bad breath or halitosis 5
Different types of braces are available in the market, and you might have difficulty choosing the right one. Here you can learn what will be the best choice for you.
Now let’s check out the ways to floss with braces!
It is one of the best ways to remove food plaques, but it will be challenging as you have braces. So, give yourself proper time to do it and prefer waxed floss. Unwaxed floss will make it harder and may get stuck into your braces.
Here’s how you can do traditional flossing:
- Take 18 to 24 inches of floss and carefully thread it between your teeth and braces.
- Properly wrap the floss around your fingers for a good grip.
- Gently move the thread and floss up and down along both sides of your teeth.
- Carefully remove the floss from your teeth; otherwise, it may loosen your braces.
- Repeat this process until you finish flossing every tooth.
- An efficient method to remove food residues
- It can be done anytime, at any place.
- It may damage your gums if not done properly
It is a plastic tool that is easy to use and inexpensive. Follow the below-mentioned steps to do flossing with a floss threader:
- Pull a piece of waxed floss (18-24 inches) through the eye of the floss threader.
- You can wrap the floss around your index finger to have better control over the thread.
- Now place the plastic needle part of the threader under your metal braces and gently pull the floss through the wire.
- Repeat this process for the next set of teeth.
- Cheap and easily accessible
- Unsuitable for sensitive teeth and gums
- The method is trickier to learn
Using a water flosser is an easy and effective way of removing unwanted food residues from your teeth.
It’s a bit expensive but worth spending your precious money. With its help, you can do flossing within three to five minutes.
To use a Waterpik:
- Firstly, fill the machine’s water reservoir with mouthwash or clean water.
- Place the tapered tip on the flosser and press to send water through it. Ensure the water pressure is right and the flosser is working correctly.
- Now turn on the flosser and close your lips to keep the water inside your mouth.
- Let the water stream between each tooth and along the gumline.
- Once you are done with flossing, drain out the water.
- Involves minimal manual movement
- No risk of gum bleeding
- Less effective in removing plaque as compared to other flossing methods
These are flexible, small, and pointed brushes with pine-like bristles. Their unique shape helps to clean the food build-up around your teeth and behind the braces. To further improve their performance, you can use toothpaste on these brushes.
Interdental brushes are not common, and you might have difficulty finding them. Also, they are not as effective as flossing, and you can’t use these as flossing’s replacement.
If you have painful teeth or gums and are uncomfortable using the normal floss, go for dental tape.
It’s smooth, spongy, and thinner than floss. Furthermore, it’s wider like a ribbon and can easily glide between teeth.
These brushes are used with floss and can help to clean your teeth better. Orthodontic brushes have V-shaped bristles, efficiently removing residues around your teeth and behind the braces.
Flossing with Braces – Tips & Ticks
Keeping your teeth shiny and bright is not a one-day job; it takes time. Here are some ways that can further help you to do flossing with braces:
Avoid Using Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste has harsh chemicals which are harmful to your teeth & gums in the long run.
Also, these will only whiten and brighten the exposed area of your teeth. When you take off your braces, you may have off-white areas on your teeth, which will look awful, so why take the risk?
Schedule Regular Cleanings
Regular cleaning by a dental hygienist will help to prevent staining and better remove the plaque behind the braces.
Therefore, go for deep cleaning at least once in 3 months.
If you are flossing first time with braces, don’t be in a rush and be very careful so you don’t hurt your teeth and gums.
Those with sensitive gums and teeth should prefer using dental tape instead of floss.
Besides, flossing children’s teeth could be more challenging, but it becomes a bit easier with the correct method. Follow this guide to learn how to floss your little munchkin’s teeth easily.
Braces help to prevent future health issues and have multiple benefits.
Regular teeth cleaning with brushing and flossing keeps you safe from dental health problems like cavities, staining, and gingivitis. Flossing with braces is time-taking but worth the effort.
Need help in choosing suitable space maintainers for your child? Contact us right now!
Is it harder to floss with braces?
Yes, flossing with braces is more challenging since they create a barrier at the surface of your teeth. The brackets and wires get in the way, making removing food remains, plaque, and residues difficult.
Do I need to floss before and after brushing with braces?
Flossing before brushing is more helpful since it loosens up debris and residues. This makes removing bacteria convenient and decreases the chances of getting gum disease. Furthermore, flossing before brushing helps to retain fluoride better between your teeth.
- Ong, G. (1998). Periodontal disease and tooth loss. International dental journal, 48(S3), 233-238.
- Cepeda, M. S., Weinstein, R., Blacketer, C., & Lynch, M. C. (2017). Association of flossing/inter‐dental cleaning and periodontitis in adults. Journal of clinical periodontology, 44(9), 866-871.
- Mehrotra, N., & Singh, S. (2019). Periodontitis.
- Hujoel, P. P., Cunha-Cruz, J., Banting, D. W., & Loesche, W. J. (2006). Dental flossing and interproximal caries: a systematic review. Journal of dental research, 85(4), 298-305.
- Aylıkcı, B. U., & Çolak, H. (2013). Halitosis: From diagnosis to management. Journal of natural science, biology, and medicine, 4(1), 14.