Once you get braces, you are well on your way to having that perfect smile you’ve always wanted. But you don’t want to get your braces off in a few months to find your teeth covered in plaque and starting to decay! The key to keeping your teeth healthy while you receive orthodontic treatment is regular brushing and flossing. You know you should brush after every meal, but what about flossing? It can be a little trickier but it’s well worth the time it takes to maintain your teeth’s health.

Get the Right Equipment to Help With Flossing

There are actually many different types of floss out there, so which one should you choose? We believe waxed floss is best with braces. It is smoother and easier to get in between your brackets, wires, and teeth. If you use non-waxed floss, the metal wires can tear the floss as it rubs against it and you could end up with strings of frayed floss stuck in your braces.

If you’re ready to floss but wonder how you’re going to get the little piece of floss between your braces and your teeth, we have an answer for you: floss threaders. These little disposable pieces of plastic look like a giant needle that you thread a piece of floss through in order to get it behind the wires of your braces

Waterpiks are good to use in addition to flossing but really shouldn’t take the place of traditional flossing completely. You might have seen something like it in your dentist’s office. It uses high pressure water to blast away any food and bacteria particles that are left on and between your teeth after eating.

How to Floss with Braces

Thread a piece of floss through the hoop on one end of the floss threader, then push the floss threader behind the wire to get the floss under and between your teeth. Once you floss between a pair of teeth, re-thread the floss and do it all again between the next two brackets. This is more time-consuming than regular flossing, but it’s a necessary part of having braces.

If you’re using a Waterpik, you should follow the instructions that come with the device. Fill up the water container, set the pressure to the most comfortable level, then turn it on. Weave around and between your teeth with the head of the Waterpik to eliminate any particles left after brushing.

If you have kids that are too young to effectively floss their own teeth, you will have to assist them to be sure they are taking care of their dental health.

Why You Should Floss

Throughout the day, you get leftover food, bacteria and plaque building up on and between your teeth. Because of this, it’s best to floss at least once a day to be sure you get rid of those particles that can lead to tooth decay.

Cleaning your teeth may take longer with braces, but that’s only because you have to be even more careful than you did without them. Don’t let laziness or lack of knowledge about flossing keep you from taking care of your teeth, gums and braces. Call us at (843) 4-BRACES if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment to talk about orthodontic hygiene.