How to Floss with Braces: A Guide to Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene

If you have braces, flossing can be a bit tricky. It is important to floss between your teeth daily to remove plaque buildup and bacteria, but it can be challenging to do when your braces are in the way.

Keeping Your Gum Line Healthy with Braces

It is essential to maintain healthy gum lines and keep your braces clean. Plaque and bacteria can build up quickly on your teeth and in your braces, leading to gum disease and other dental problems.

To maintain good oral health when you have metal braces, here are a few tips:

  • Floss gently at least once a day, using a floss threader to help you get the floss under your braces.
  • Brush your teeth up to your gum line at least twice a day, using a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use an interdental brush or a water flosser to clean around your braces where a regular toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after each meal.
  • Visit your dentist or orthodontist regularly for checkups and deep cleanings.

If you take care of your teeth and braces and ensure that you are flossing properly, you can avoid dental problems and have a beautiful smile when your braces are finally removed.

Flossing Product Options

There are several flossing options available to patients with braces. No matter which flossing option you choose, it is essential to floss every day to maintain good oral hygiene while you have braces. Learning how to floss with braces can be difficult, but these options can make it easier.

Dental Floss

Dental floss is one of the most traditional flossing techniques available to patients. It is a thin wax-covered thread of nylon that is used to remove plaque and bacteria from between teeth. Patients with braces can use traditional floss by threading it under the wires and between the teeth. Be sure to use waxed floss, as unwaxed floss can frequently get stuck in between the braces and teeth.

Interdental Brushes

Interdental brushes are small, toothbrush-like instruments that patients can use to clean around braces. They have a cylindrical head with bristles that help to remove plaque and bacteria from between teeth and around braces. They can be more effective in removing plaque than regular dental floss for patients with braces.

Water Flossers

A water flosser is a handheld device that uses a stream of water to remove plaque and bacteria from between teeth and around braces. A water flosser is a good option for patients who have difficulty using dental floss or interdental brushes.

Floss Threaders

A floss threader is a small flexible plastic needle that patients can easily handle. A floss threader can help patients pull the floss between their teeth while wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances.

Dental Tape

Dental tape is a thin, clear strip of plastic that patients with braces can use to help floss. It is thinner than traditional floss, but wider, making it easier for patients to use. Patients can use it like regular floss by threading it under the braces and between the teeth.

Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Braces Clean

Braces are a great way to improve your smile, but they require some extra care to keep your teeth clean and free of bacteria. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you keep your braces clean and healthy and prevent oral health problems.

Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal

When you have braces, food particles are more likely to become stuck in your teeth and the wires of the braces. When food becomes stuck, it can cause bacteria to grow and plaque and tooth decay to form on the teeth. You must brush after each meal to avoid this from happening and to remove any remaining food particles.

Eat Foods That Are Safe for Braces

Many foods are off-limits when you have metal braces. Foods like popcorn or sticky candy can cause damage or get stuck in your braces very easily. Soft foods like fruit and pasta can be more gentle on the teeth and braces. These diet changes are only temporary, and you can incorporate your favorite everyday foods back into your diet once you have completed treatment.

Get Regular Checkups

By getting regular dental checkups, your dentist will be able to identify any issues early on and adjust treatment if necessary. Your dentist will also be able to give your teeth a deep clean and clean your teeth in areas your toothbrush cannot reach.

Find Floss That Works for You

Using floss with braces can be challenging when maneuvering around the metal wires and brackets. Several floss options are available to dental patients, making flossing with braces much more manageable. Finding one that works for you will be a game-changer for your oral health.

Use Fluoride In Your Daily Routine

Fluoride is a very beneficial mineral found in most toothpaste and mouthwashes today and in many public water supplies. Making sure that you are using fluoride toothpaste in your oral hygiene routine will help you protect your teeth against decay. You can also incorporate a fluoridated mouthwash at a different time from tooth brushing.

Stay Prepared

As we mentioned, brushing your teeth after eating is essential in preventing decay with braces. Staying prepared by keeping a toothbrush and toothpaste on hand will help you stay on top of your dental health. Keep a travel-size designated dental cleaning bag on you at all times so that you can brush your teeth when necessary.

Contact Us for Orthodontic Treatment

If you are interested in orthodontic treatment, do not hesitate to get in touch with our dental office in Lakewood Ranch or Bradenton, FL, for more information. We would be happy to answer any questions you have and help you schedule a consultation with one of our dentists. 

Give us a call today at 941-792-6272 to schedule a consultation and get your smile makeover started.