Flossing With Braces
Although flossing with braces is tricky, you can get the hang of it with practice if you follow these steps:
- Floss once a day: Use waxed floss (unwaxed floss is more likely to get caught and shred in your braces), dental tape or a product specifically designed to clean around your braces. Use waxed floss and thread it carefully under the main wire before passing between two teeth. Don’t snap it—simply move up and down gently, remove, and move on to the next pair of teeth.
- Use enough: About 18 inches of floss should suffice
- Thread it carefully: Take the floss and carefully thread it under the main wire of the braces before passing it between two teeth. Then remove the floss and re-thread it under the main wire to pass between the next pair of teeth
- Be sure not to snap the floss – simply move it up and down gently against the side of each tooth
Parents: Do the flossing for younger children who lack the coordination to thread the floss under the main wire of their braces.
Plan Regular Checkups
Seeing your orthodontist for checkups and adjustments is essential. He or she can repair broken pieces, answer general questions, and address any irregularities such as cavities or every meal or snack if you wear braces. And some dentists recommend a fluoride mouthwash to help control plaque buildup in the places that are tough to reach with a toothbrush.