Braces are amazing, they can give you a whole new smile! But they can also complicate things a bit. From having to think through if what you’re about to eat is safe for your braces, to practicing oral hygiene by cleaning around all those brackets and wires, life with braces can feel like a lot sometimes. The good news is, knowing the right tricks and tools can help. Here’s a handy guide on how to floss with braces to make things a little easier.

The Basics of How To

Learning how to floss with braces can feel difficult at first, but it will get a lot easier with practice!

First of all, some flossing basics that apply whether you have braces or not. Start with an 18-inch strand of waxed or no-shred floss. This may seem like a lot of floss, but it’s important to use a fresh section of the floss for each tooth that you’re flossing. Next, wrap the floss around your middle fingers on both hands, and then pinch the floss between your index finger and thumb on each hand. Now you’re ready to floss!

When flossing with braces, it’s important that you thread the floss under the wire and between your teeth each time. Once the floss is properly threaded, you can floss as you normally would, making sure to floss all the way up and down between your teeth as well as under the gum line.

Flossing with braces may seem like a lot of extra effort, but when you get to show off your sparkling bright, healthy smile once you get your braces off, it will all be worth it!

The Right Tools for the Job

If flossing with braces is something you still dread, you’re not alone. You’ll soon get the hang of it, but some handy tools can be helpful, too. Your orthodontist will likely provide you with a floss threader, a small loop of stiff plastic which can help you to thread the floss under the brackets and between your teeth. Use this! It will make things much easier.

It can also help to get floss with a threader built in. This usually comes in individual pre-cut packages and includes an extra thick section of floss, as well, to help with flossing wide gaps between teeth that may be tender while your teeth are shifting into their new places.

Dental picks, which are like small rubber toothpicks with a plastic handle, may also be helpful for cleaning under wires and around brackets, where it’s tough to thread floss. Your orthodontist may have samples of these on hand, too.

Ask Your Orthodontist

If flossing feels difficult, talk to your orthodontist about it. Tell them what isn’t going so well. There may be more tools they can recommend for your specific situation to help make things easier. They may also be able to demonstrate how to navigate those trouble spots at your next appointment. Dental hygiene is important, and they’ll always be glad you asked so that they can help you learn how to floss with braces without frustration.

Call our Scottsdale Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.