FLOSSING WITH BRACES: ASK OUR ORTHODONTIST

August 15, 2023

Maintaining a robust oral hygiene routine is always important for protecting our teeth, gums and overall health. But it becomes even more so for anyone undergoing orthodontic treatment. Our orthodontist at Ortho Inc. wants to make sure our patients are doing their utmost to help us achieve a healthy, beautiful smile, and to keep the length of treatment as short as possible.

Braces — whether traditional metal, tooth-colored ceramic, or lingual — create more hiding places for food particles, which can lead to a buildup of bacteria and plaque. This makes flossing regularly and properly vitally important. Waxed dental floss, which glides easily between the teeth, is the most widely recommended variety. Some patients have found using a water flosser or a floss threader can successfully accomplish the same goals.

Here are a few basic tips for flossing during orthodontic treatment:
Tear off a length of floss measuring about 18 to 24 inches.

  • Use a mirror to make sure you’re placing the floss where it needs to be.
  • Thread the floss between the teeth and main wire, twisting the ends of the floss around the index fingers so the floss can be guided easily.
  • Place the floss between two teeth and lightly glide it up and down against the sides of the teeth.
  • On the top teeth, make an upside-down U with the floss at the gum line, then slide the floss down the sides of the tooth.
  • Carefully remove the floss and unthread it from behind the wire. Don’t pop the floss out of the tooth, or a wire may become dislodged.
  • Repeat this process between each tooth.
  • Don’t press the floss into the gums. This can bruise the gums and cause bleeding.

As with most routines, practice makes perfect! If you have questions about flossing or want information about the state-of-the-art options we have for delivering a beautiful smile at any age, please contact our orthodontist at Ortho Inc. today!