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Flossing is an essential step in oral hygiene that most people overlook. In addition, it is crucial to maintain excellent oral hygiene while wearing braces to avoid developing white spots, cavities, and gum disease. It can be detrimental to your treatment if you do not adhere to proper oral hygiene, and in severe cases, your braces may need to be taken off sooner than you expected.

Why Is Flossing Important, Especially When You Have Braces?

Braces create many hard-to-reach areas that are difficult to clean with dental floss alone. Food can get trapped between your teeth and under your braces, leading to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Another important reason for flossing is to remove food particles that become stuck in the brackets of your braces. This helps prevent cavities and dental diseases such as gingivitis. Gingivitis causes inflammation of the gums and leads to redness, swelling, bleeding during brushing or flossing, bad breath (halitosis), pain when chewing certain foods, discomfort when wearing dental appliances like orthodontic bands or bridges, etc.

Recommended Types of Dental Floss for Braces

#1: Waxed Floss

Waxed floss is made of thin filaments of plastic or Teflon coated in wax. The wax makes it easy to slip the floss between your teeth and glide against the surfaces you’re trying to clean. Waxed dental floss is recommended for those with braces, as it tends to slide better between closely-spaced teeth. Like dental super floss, you can use it around dental appliances for added cleaning ability.

#2: Super Floss

Super floss is a dental tape pre-threaded on a plastic, disposable wand with a dental tape-like tip on one end. It can be threaded along the inside of your teeth and around metal appliances such as braces or permanent retainers to aid in cleaning hard-to-reach places.

#3: Floss Threader

A floss threader is made of two small loops attached to either end of a thin wire with a handle at the end. They allow you to floss between very tightly spaced teeth by threading dental floss through them.

#4: Orthodontic Flosser

An orthodontic flosser looks like dental super floss with a handle. The handle allows you to place the dental floss against the wire of your dental appliance so that it won’t slip off while you are trying to clean your teeth.

#5: Waterpik

A Waterpik is a dental appliance that shoots a pressurized jet of water between your teeth and under dental appliances. This helps remove food particles and dental plaque buildup, thus reducing the risk of dental disease such as gingivitis. In addition, some Waterpiks have attachments that move side to side or up and down along the wire of dental appliances for a more thorough dental cleaning.

To determine the best dental floss for braces, you need to consider how much space there is between your teeth and whether or not you wear dental appliances like orthodontic bands or retainers.

Step-by-step Instructions For Flossing With Braces

With braces, flossing can be a little tricky and time-consuming at first, but the more you do it, the more efficient you will become!

Step One: Wrap dental floss around your middle fingers, leaving two inches between them. Use your thumbs and forefingers to guide the dental floss between your teeth.

Step Two: Gently slide dental floss up and down against one side of each tooth in a sawing motion until you reach the gum line. Do not snap the dental floss into place or force it in a back-and-forth motion along the teeth’ surfaces because this could damage the surface of your dental enamel.

Step Three: Repeat steps 1 & 2 on all sides of every tooth until you have flossed every space in your mouth that is visible with braces or dental appliances. If an area is difficult to reach with dental floss, you can opt for dental super floss or dental floss threaders.

Step Four: When finished with your dental flossing session, rinse the excess dental floss out in warm water and dispose of it properly in a waste receptacle.

Along with flossing, we recommend using an electronic toothbrush and visiting your dentist at least every six months for a checkup and cleaning. 

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Choose Loudoun Orthodontics for Your Orthodontic Treatment!

At Loudoun Orthodontics, we strive to ensure you have a beautiful smile for life. Reach out today to book a free, easy consultation at our friendly office in Lansdowne, VA! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health!