flossing with braces

Tips and Tricks for Flossing with Braces

Austin, TX – Caring for your smile is always important, but never more so than when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Your braces are working hard to improve your smile, but if you don’t take the time to properly brush and floss to keep decay and gum disease at bay, the braces can’t do their job properly. 

“We know it can be tricky to properly brush with your braces on, especially in the beginning,” says Dr. Silvana Gonzalez. “Getting around the brackets and under the wires takes some getting used to. We take the time to go over flossing technique with our patients so they can ensure their smiles are as healthy as possible.”

Dr. Silvana and her staff begin by discussing proper flossing technique using traditional floss. This process can be a bit tedious, especially in the beginning, but it is definitely worth it. 

Begin by taking a piece of waxed floss, 18-24 inches long. Then, standing in front a mirror, thread the floss between the braces wire and your teeth. Wrap the floss around your index fingers and gently guide the floss between the first two teeth. Take care to slide the floss up and down the side of each tooth, taking care to gently floss at the gumline, as well. Then, you repeat the process, moving down to the next pair of teeth. 

A floss threader can help this process tremendously. It’s a tiny tool that packs a big punch in helping to make your oral care routine a bit easier. Simply pull your piece of floss through the eye of the threader, and then use the pointed end to thread the floss under the wire of your braces. 

You may also consider an electric flosser, such as a Waterpik, to help. A Waterpik using a stream of water to clean between the teeth and at the gumline. The pressure on the water can be adjusted to be as strong or as gentle as you need it. Simply glide the Waterpik along the gumline and between each tooth and the stream of water will work to clean and remove any food or debris from your mouth.

Proxy brushes can also help the flossing process. These are small, interdental cleaners that can clean the spaces between your teeth to remove food debris and plaque build-up. They are small enough to fit underneath the brackets of your braces, and gently enough to clean between your teeth at the gumline.

Once your braces are placed, it may take a bit of trial and error to determine which method is the best for you. The important thing is that you are taking the time to floss at least once a day.

Flossing is essential to maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. If you forego flossing, you are more at risk of developing decay or gum disease. Either of these can affect your orthodontic treatment time. Healthy teeth and gums are essential to ensuring a stable bite.

If you have any questions or concerns about flossing or caring for your teeth while in braces, call Dr. Silvana and her team at Pure Smiles Orthodontics