If you’ve never been in the habit of flossing your teeth, getting braces is the ideal time to begin. Food particles can become trapped between the wires and your teeth, and can cause cavities and gum disease. Removing these food particles at least twice a day can improve your dental health and increase the odds that you’ll have a healthy smile for decades. Flossing with braces can be tricky at first, but it becomes easier with practice.
Dental care with braces often takes about twice as long as before, so be prepared to invest extra minutes into your dental care routine. The healthy results of your smile will be worth the effort.
Use a reusable floss threader or special floss made for use with braces. This specialty floss has a stiff part on one end of each individually-cut strand, which acts as a threader. Whichever method you use for inserting the floss, make sure it’s waxed floss. Unwaxed floss is more likely to shred on braces wires, leaving bits of thread stuck between your teeth.
Brush your teeth thoroughly and rinse your mouth before starting your flossing routine. This will remove much of the food particles in your mouth and leave only the pieces stuck underneath the braces and in between the teeth.
Use a precut piece of floss, or cut a strand about 18 inches long and thread it through the floss threader. Slide the floss in between two of your front teeth below the braces wire. Wrap one end of the floss around each of your forefingers. Slide the floss down the side of one tooth, make a U-turn slightly below the gum line, and then slide the floss up the side of the other tooth in the pair. Continue sliding the floss down and back up again until you hear a squeaking noise. This indicates that the teeth are clean and deposit-free.
Remove the floss from between these two teeth and move on to the next pair. Continue flossing between all of your teeth, top and bottom. Wrap the floss around the back of your farthest molar to floss the back side of these teeth. Rinse your mouth thoroughly to remove the food particles you removed by flossing.