Finding the best floss for braces is an essential step in maintaining a healthy, confident smile, especially when you are in orthodontic care.
It is a no-brainer that braces can make oral hygiene more challenging, but with the right flossing product in 2024, you can ensure your teeth and gums remain in top-notch condition throughout your orthodontic journey.
This article gets you the correct answers you seek if you wear braces and search for the best floss. Get to explore:
- Why traditional flossing is challenging when wearing braces;
- Best types of floss for braces to try out;
- How to floss with braces.
Understanding Flossing with Braces
Before delving into the best floss for braces in 2024, it is imperative to understand why flossing is crucial during orthodontic treatment.
Braces create nooks and crannies where food particles can easily get stuck. These particles can lead to plaque buildup, cavities, and even gum disease if not properly removed.
Regular flossing helps you reach these areas, ensuring your dental health remains on track throughout your orthodontic journey.
Why Traditional Flossing Techniques Are Challenging With Braces
Braces can work wonders in aligning your teeth and giving you a confident smile, but they also introduce unique challenges regarding regular flossing techniques. Here’s why traditional flossing techniques may prove challenging for people in orthodontic care:
Obstruction by brackets and wires
The main reason why flossing while on braces is quite challenging is mainly attributed to the presence of brackets and wires.
These components create a barrier that makes it difficult to slide traditional dental floss between your teeth. Attempting to force the floss through can lead to fraying or damage the wires.
Tight spaces and nooks
When you have braces, you have tight spaces and nooks where food particles can easily become trapped.
These areas are hard to reach or access with traditional floss, making it challenging to remove debris effectively. Neglecting these spaces can lead to plaque buildup, cavities, and other dental issues.
You are prone to getting sensitive gums when using braces, especially during the first few weeks.
Using regular floss with braces can sometimes cause discomfort or even minor bleeding. This discomfort can deter individuals from maintaining a consistent flossing routine.
It is a no-brainer that going through the brackets, wires, nooks, and crannies from the braces to floss your teeth requires extra care and attention.
Eventually, this need for precision can extend the time spent on your oral hygiene routine, making it less appealing and potentially leading to neglect.
Best Types of Floss to Use with Braces
Using traditional floss with braces can be quite challenging. Fortunately, there are also other types of floss that you can use, enabling you to maintain optimal oral hygiene while seeking the perfect dental alignment.
Here are some of the best flossing alternatives for people with braces:
Using water flossers has become a huge consideration for people with braces. They provide a much easier and better way to eliminate food particles between teeth.
Water flossers use a pulsating stream of water to remove food particles and plaque from between teeth and around braces. They are a gentle yet effective option for those who find traditional flossing challenging.
When searching for the best water flossers for braces, it is important to go for products that fit your lifestyle. For instance, opting for a product like Snow’s Water Flosser may be a sound investment as it checks out the right boxes for a top water flosser.
Floss picks with a slender, angled head are designed specifically for braces wearers. They provide excellent control and access to hard-to-reach areas.
The pick can dislodge larger food particles, while the floss component effectively cleans between teeth and around brackets and wires.
To use these products, simply insert the pick between your teeth and around the braces using a gentle sawing motion. Then, curve the floss around each tooth's base and slide it up and down to remove plaque and debris.
Floss threaders are an indispensable tool for braces users who prefer regular dental floss. They allow you to thread floss under the archwire and between teeth, making flossing more accessible and effective.
You simply thread a piece of floss through the threader's loop, then gently pass the threader under the archwire. Once the floss is in position between your teeth, clean as usual.
This type of floss is particularly useful for those who already have a preferred floss brand and would prefer to stick by it.
Proxy brushes, also known as interdental brushes, are excellent for cleaning around the components of braces and between teeth. These small brushes come in various sizes, making them suitable for different spaces.
When using interdental brushes with braces, you first need to choose an appropriate-sized proxy brush and gently insert it between your teeth and around the braces.
After that, move the brush back and forth to clean the spaces thoroughly. Proxy brushes are particularly effective for removing larger debris and plaque buildup.
General Guidelines for Flossing with Braces
Flossing with braces requires additional care and precision. While you can easily use various types of floss that are ideal for use with braces, there are still a few things to keep in mind as you go about your oral hygiene regimen.
Here are the top considerations when using floss with braces:
Always use the right floss
Choose a floss specifically designed for braces or one of the recommended types, such as floss threaders or water flossers.
Wash your hands
Only start flossing your teeth after ensuring proper hygiene on your hands. Always start with clean hands to avoid introducing additional bacteria into your mouth.
Use a mirror
Although you may sometimes use dental floss without really having to look, flossing with braces on requires extra care and precision. This means it is important to see and know exactly what you are doing to reduce the risk of injury or damage. Using a mirror in a well-lit area is advisable when flossing with braces.
Rinse your mouth beforehand
Before using floss with braces, it is a good practice to begin the process by rinsing your mouth with water or an antimicrobial mouthwash to help dislodge loose debris.
Be gentle while maneuvering the floss around your braces. Avoid using excessive force to prevent damage to wires and brackets.
Clean each tooth
Carefully clean the spaces between each tooth and around the braces. Pay extra attention to the areas where food particles tend to get trapped.
Clean below and above
Remember to floss both below and above the archwire to remove plaque from all angles.
Flossing should be part of your daily oral care routine. Aim to floss at least once a day, preferably in the evening before bedtime.
The Role of Orthodontists in Guiding Flossing Techniques
Orthodontists play a significant role in ensuring you get the results you want from braces treatment. It is vital that they are made aware of any changes or activities you want to introduce that might tamper with your orthodontic journey, including flossing techniques.
As a rule of thumb, it is important to consult with your orthodontist when selecting the best floss with braces because of reasons such as:
Get personalized guidance
You get personalized guidance as your orthodontist is well familiar with your unique treatment plan. They can provide customized guidance on the most effective and safe flossing techniques tailored to your case.
This guidance considers the type of braces you have, the alignment of your teeth, and any specific challenges you may face.
To prevent damage to the orthodontic appliances
Improper flossing techniques can inadvertently damage the wires and brackets of your braces. Your orthodontist can instruct you on how to floss in a way that minimizes the risk of causing harm to your orthodontic appliances.
Choosing the right flossing tool
Orthodontists can recommend and demonstrate the use of specialized flossing tools most suitable for your needs.
They can help you choose between options like floss threaders or water flossers based on your comfort level and the tool’s effectiveness in your specific situation.
Addressing unique oral challenges
Orthodontic treatment can sometimes present unique challenges when it comes to oral hygiene. Your orthodontist can identify areas where plaque buildup is more likely to occur and provide strategies to address these challenges effectively. They will also consider your braces before and after assessments to ensure you’re on the right track of treatment.
Ensuring the success of your treatment
The ultimate goal of orthodontic treatment is to achieve a beautifully aligned smile and maintain excellent dental health.
Proper flossing is a key component of this success. Following your orthodontist’s guidance increases the likelihood of achieving the desired results without complications.
Although braces assist in getting you a better smile, you can easily forget other important aspects of oral hygiene if you do not floss your teeth well. Using traditional flossing techniques can be challenging when using braces.
However, by using the alternatives mentioned in this post, such as water flossers from brands like Snow and consulting with your orthodontists, you are able to maintain optimal dental health.