Maintaining Dental Health with Braces: The Importance of Flossing

Girl With Braces

The day has come, and you are finally on the road to straighter teeth, a healthier jaw, and a better smile. On this road to straighter teeth, keeping up with your dental hygiene is still very important. Though it may be a little bit more complicated, it’s important to still floss every day. There is an adjustment period for getting used to the feel and all the new rules that come with braces, but everything will just be a part of your routine really quickly. A big part of your new smile is still flossing, even with braces. While it may be more challenging to floss with braces, it will help prevent other issues like cavities and gum diseases. 

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What if You Don't Floss with Braces?

You could have your braces on for a few months to a few years. During this time, keeping up with your oral hygiene is super important. Flossing is crucial during this time because braces make brushing efficiently so much harder. It’s going to be near impossible to get in and around all the nooks and crannies created by your braces with just a brush. Since floss is so small, you can get those hard-to-reach places that you have trouble getting with just a brush. 

When you don’t floss with braces, you are creating an environment in your mouth that is more susceptible to cavities, gum disease, and other complications. As we mentioned before, just brushing may not cut it. So if you don’t floss, bacteria and plaque will build up in the areas that your braces block off. Getting used to braces is already challenging enough, so daily flossing can help you avoid any added dental problems. 

What's the Best Way to Floss with Braces?

It may be hard and confusing at first, but you’ll get the hang of flossing with braces after a few tries. Even though it may be time-consuming, it is totally worth it. Plus, wouldn’t you rather take time flossing at home for a few minutes each day over avoiding flossing and having to go see your dentist, who may have to drill a hole in a cavity or two? I don’t know what you think, but drills and braces don’t sound fun. 

How to floss with braces:

Step 1

First, you’ll start by brushing your teeth, just like you would normally. This is so you can remove as many food particles, bacteria, and plaque as possible. It’s important to hit all the areas of your teeth when brushing.

Step 2

Now that you brushed and removed a good chunk of particles in your teeth, it’s time to take your floss out. Take a 7-10 inches long piece of floss and wrap it around your fingers. Make a nice tight grip so the floss doesn’t bend when it hits your teeth.

Step 3

Now that you have your floss ready, line up the floss where the gap between your teeth is. Once lined up, thread the floss in between your teeth.

Step 4

With the floss in between your teeth, move the floss along the vertical sides of each tooth. Make sure to get into the gum tissue that moves to remove any food particles and plaque build-up. If you’re doing the top teeth, make an upside-down U shape, then go up the side of one tooth until you get to your gums. Then go down the side of the other tooth.   

Step 5

When you remove the floss, make sure to be gentle since you are behind the wire of your braces. If you just pull the floss out of your tooth, you could accidentally knock the wire and pop it out of the bracket.

Step 6

Once you’ve done all these steps, move on to the next tooth and repeat the process. 

Why Should You Floss Your Teeth with Braces Every Day?

Now that you know how to floss with braces, it’s important to make sure you floss every day. If you have trouble flossing, contact your dentist or orthodontist. They would have no problem showing you how to floss since it will keep your smile a healthy one.

Floss for Braces FAQs

Yes, when you have braces, it’s recommended to use specialized orthodontic floss. Regular floss might struggle to navigate around the wires and brackets of braces, potentially leading to inadequate cleaning and discomfort. Orthodontic floss is designed with a stiffer end that can be threaded under the wires and between the teeth, making it easier to clean effectively around your braces and maintain good oral hygiene. This floss helps prevent plaque buildup, reduces the risk of cavities, and promotes overall dental health while wearing braces.

Yes, you can floss before brushing. Many dental professionals recommend flossing before brushing your teeth. Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and along the gum line, allowing your toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your teeth more effectively. By flossing first, you can dislodge debris and bacteria that might be pushed around during brushing, leading to a more thorough and effective oral hygiene routine.

Yes, it’s essential to floss every day. Daily flossing helps remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria from between your teeth and along the gumline, areas your toothbrush might not reach effectively. This practice helps prevent cavities, gum disease, and bad breath by maintaining optimal oral hygiene. Consistent flossing ensures that you’re actively removing debris and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, contributing to a healthier smile in the long run.