In addition to brushing and rinsing, flossing is an essential part of any good oral hygiene routine. And while it can be a bit trickier and more time consuming if you wear braces, it is now more important than ever to avoid the temptation to skip this step, as disease and cavity-causing plaque has even more places to attach and accumulate.
Below are some tips and how-to videos to make flossing with braces a breeze…or at least a little easier, depending on the approach you choose.
Hand flossing while wearing braces may be challenging at first, but with a little practice using proper technique (and perhaps, a floss threader), it will become easier as you go along.
- Use waxed floss or tape, as unwaxed floss tends to shred.
- Be sure to use enough floss, about 12-18 inches is recommended.
- Commit to spending a little extra time flossing while you’re wearing braces.
- Use a floss threader to guide the floss through your braces more easily.
- Use a product like Oral-B® Superfloss, which comes in pre-measured strands and features a stiff end, eliminating the need for a threader.
- Use a product like Platypus® Orthodontic Flossers, which also eliminate the need to use a threader and purportedly reduce total flossing time to less than two minutes.
Instructions for Hand Flossing
This video created by bracesquestions.com will guide you through the process of flossing braces, both by hand and with the help of a floss threader.
Instructions for Using the Platypus Flosser
Using an Oral Irrigator
To make flossing with braces even quicker and easier, use an oral irrigator such as the Waterpik® water flosser with orthodontic tip.
- Reduces flossing time to approximately one minute per day.
- Easier to clean teeth and braces than traditional floss, especially when it comes to reaching the back teeth.
- Clinically proven to be more effective at cleaning around braces than dental floss.
This Waterpik® video shows you just how simple it is to use an oral irrigator.
Whether you invest in an oral irrigator or stick to hand flossing, the most important thing is that you do floss every single day. Doing so will ensure that your teeth and gums will remain healthy while you’re wearing your braces, and look their best when the braces are removed.