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Have you been avoiding certain foods with your braces because you’re worried about them getting stuck in your teeth?
Even if you avoid certain foods, you still need to floss your teeth while wearing braces. But if you’ve been skimping on flossing lately, don’t feel too embarrassed.
A recent national survey revealed that more than a fourth of adults aren’t honest with their dentists about their flossing habits. Also, more than 37% revealed that they would rather engage in an unpleasant activity, such as cleaning the toilet, than floss their teeth.
Despite this, it is still very important to floss while wearing braces. With all that wiring, it can be very easy for pieces of food to get stuck in your teeth and go unnoticed.
And flossing with braces isn’t actually as hard as it seems. Keep reading to learn how to floss with braces.
If you choose to stick to ordinary floss, you should first make sure that you are using waxed floss. Unwaxed floss is much more likely to get stuck in your braces.
Pull off a thread of floss that is between 12 to 18 inches long. Carefully thread the floss over or under the main wire of your braces, being careful to ensure it doesn’t get stuck. You can also use a floss threader, usually furnished by your Orthodontist.
Once the floss is around the wire, pull it through until there is enough slack on both ends to grab it. It can be extremely helpful to use a hand mirror while doing this so you don’t lose track of where the floss is.
Once you have the floss gripped in both hands, push it between your teeth using the same flossing motion as you normally would.
Then, move the floss up and down between the gums to the point where you can no longer move it. It may feel like you’re not cleaning anything. But remember, flossing doesn’t just remove food, it removes plaque as well.
Repeat this process for each tooth until you are finished.
Dental tape works in the same way regular floss does.
However, it is thin and wide and has a somewhat spongy texture. Therefore, it’s a better option for those with sensitive gums or teeth. Hard end allows you to pass through floss easily.
Many orthodontists and dentists now recommend water flossers for those who don’t like dealing with threading motions.
Water flossers come with a basin of water and an attached tool that sprays out water. All you have to do is fill up the water basin to the marked line. Then, spray the water on your teeth using the attached tool.
While this isn’t meant to serve as a replacement for flossing, it is an excellent option if you’re trying to remove food particles quickly.
Proxy brushes are compact brushes with bristles that look somewhat like a pine tree. They are specifically designed to get in between the crevices of the teeth.
To use the proxy brush, all you need to do is insert it between the teeth and under the wire. Then, scrub as you normally would.
Proxy brushes can be purchased at any drugstore. They are a great option for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money. We recommend the brand “GUM” as it is soft.
Hopefully, that you know how to floss with braces, you’ll do a better job of flossing every day.
If you have any questions about these flossing methods or anything else related to caring for your braces, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can avoid all of these flossing problems by choosing Alborzi Orthodontics, Top 1% Invisalign Provider, as 80% of our patients can be treated with Invisalign and floss as usual without additional time and difficultly.
Dr. Alexa Alborzi is a certified orthodontic specialist providing comprehensive orthodontic care for the children, teens, and adults of San Mateo and Half Moon Bay. Dr. Alborzi earned her BA. degree in Biochemistry from University of California, Berkeley was trained at University of California San Francisco, School of Dentistry. Dr. Alborzi has served as a respected professor at the University of San Francisco, School of Dentistry for over fourteen years. Additionally, Dr. Alborzi was voted by her community in 2019 as the Bay Area Best of the Best.