One of the greatest challenges with braces is flossing. Many people don’t know how to floss with braces and end up skipping this step completely, but doing so allows plaque and tartar to build up between teeth and under the gums, which can lead to infection and decay. Below you’ll find a helpful step-by-step guide to flossing with braces.
#1 Choose waxed floss over unwaxed, as this is less likely to shred and get caught in your braces. (But feel free to choose any flavor you want!)
#2 Take the floss and thread it carefully under the main wire. The most common issue people encounter is being unable to thread the floss, as the ends of it are not rigid enough to pass under the wire without the floss slipping or bending.To resolve this issue, purchase an orthodontic floss threader, which allows you to easily fit the floss underneath the wire and floss successfully. (See picture)
#3 Once you have successfully threaded the floss, gently move the floss between two teeth, making sure to fit the floss under the gum line where bacteria loves to hide. Be careful to not suddenly pull away, as this could damage the brace wire and cause pain. Continue until you have flossed between all of your teeth.
Flossing daily is an essential component of your oral health, and should not be neglected just because braces make it more challenging. If your braces are giving you difficulty, ask your dentist for more specific instruction.