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How to Floss with Braces

Getting braces is an exciting time, but they come with lifestyle changes that you’ll have to get used to. Food restrictions and oral hygiene practices are just two factors that will require some adjustment.

Although it may be challenging to change your daily routine, doing so will keep your teeth healthy and your braces structurally sound. One thing that patients struggle with in particular is their ability to floss.

Maneuvering dental floss in and out of braces and through your teeth can be a challenge and even a bit frustrating, but with the right techniques, you can clean your teeth efficiently. All you need is the proper tools from Central Florida Smiles.

How to Floss Correctly

When you receive braces, your orthodontist will provide instructions on how to clean your teeth and braces effectively. It may seem foreign at first, but as you continue to floss with braces, you will become more coordinated. 'Flossing with braces is often difficult due to the archwire lining the teeth that keeps you from inserting the floss correctly. As a solution, it’s best to thread the floss behind the archwire and in between the teeth, making a C-motion as you clean. You should do this for every tooth, including your molars.

What Type of Floss Should You Use?

When it comes to cleaning your braces, not all floss is created equal. You’ve likely heard of waxed and unwaxed floss but are unsure whether one cleans better than the other. With braces, it's important to choose the right one.

If you are going to use traditional dental floss, it’s better to use waxed floss because it’s less likely to get caught and snag on braces, which could cause damage. You might also consider using super floss, which is designed to clean under appliances without damaging them.

Super floss consists of both regular floss and spongy floss to use in between teeth, around appliances and within wider spaces. It also comes with a floss threader, which can make it easier to get floss in the right position.

Talk to your orthodontist about the right dental floss to use for your individual case.

Moving Beyond Dental Floss

Most people use dental floss to clean in between their teeth, but if you have braces, traditional dental floss may not be practical. One device that may make flossing easier is a proxy brush — a compact brush that squeezes in between teeth and removes leftover food debris and plaque.

The stiff neck of the proxy brush makes it simpler for you to floss, but if you have trouble using it, your orthodontist can provide detailed instructions.

You might also consider using a water flosser if dental floss and proxy brushes are not as efficient. A water flosser consists of a pump, water reservoir and a flosser tip, which combine to create a stream of pressurized water strong enough to rinse away food and plaque. A water flosser can take the complicated maneuvering out of flossing and make it less frustrating when you’re wearing braces.

You have several options to choose from when it comes to flossing your teeth, and the method you pick will depend on your oral health as well as your personal preferences. Your orthodontist will be able to help you determine the method that’s best for you.

If you have questions or want to learn more about flossing with braces, contact Central Florida Smiles at our Longwood office or Lake Mary office and schedule an appointment.

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