Is flossing possible with braces?

Is flossing possible with braces?
Posted on 08/06/2015

Wearing braces is a great investment in your oral health and your appearance. Our caring and experienced orthodontists can help you achieve the straight smile you deserve. Straight teeth are easier to clean, thus reducing a patient’s risk for developing cavities or gum disease if proper oral hygiene is practiced.

If you are about to begin orthodontic treatment, you likely have questions about what to expect when wearing braces and how orthodontia will affect your daily life. For instance, many patients inquire about how braces will affect oral hygiene – especially flossing. When wearing braces, it is very important to practice a meticulous oral hygiene regimen that includes thorough flossing and brushing. Following are some helpful tips for maintaining good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment.

How do I floss with braces?

It may seem impossible, but flossing with braces is actually doable. Learning to floss with braces will take some practice and caution. Orthodontic appliances like wires can get in the way of oral hygiene so it’s important to use a waxed dental floss because it glides easier between teeth. When flossing, be sure to take your time so that you do not damage wires. Slowly guide floss behind the wire and work it between teeth in an up and down motion. When flossing between your teeth, be sure that you thread the floss behind wires.

Are there alternatives to using floss?

Yes, there a few different types of interdental cleaning devices available but flossing is traditionally viewed as the best method for cleaning between teeth. When using an interdental cleaner of any kind, the same level of carefulness you would use during flossing remains: you do not want to damage your braces. Some patients benefit from water irrigators, a device that emits a stream of water to remove debris and plaque. Others may prefer soft picks, disposable devices made of soft tiny bristles. Soft picks can injure the gums so it is important to use them gently.

For questions or to schedule an appointment with one of our orthodontists, call our office today.