Flossing With Braces

Flossing With Braces
Posted on 06/06/2018
While rubber bands and hair ties are soft and look harmless enough, they can be very dangerous when they’re placed tightly around the teeth. They can slide up and under the gums to cut off the blood supply, cause a serious infection, and can even lead to complete tooth loss.

Flossing your teeth becomes a whole new ballgame when you add braces to the mix! Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics in West Palm Beach is here to help you through the adjustment period and teach you tricks and tips to continue flossing effectively, even with braces. Braces make it easy for food and bacteria to stay between your teeth and the braces. Because of this, we want all of our patients with braces to know the best and easiest techniques to remove plaque and food particles. Dr. Lunsford, Dr. McCaffrey, and our friendly staff are here to help you through this adjustment time and learn the tricks of flossing with braces. 

Use The Correct Tool

At Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics, we know that flossing with braces isn’t the easiest task. But, we also want to equip you with the best tools possible. Unfortunately, regular flossing and braces do not work well together. We recommend using an orthodontic floss threader: an easy-to-use, inexpensive tool that can be found right next to the toothbrushes and floss in the drug store. The threader allows you to pull the floss in between each tooth, above the bracket and wire, to reach the gum line. This is essential when flossing with braces.

Waxed Floss

With your floss threader, we also recommend using waxed floss. Waxed floss will be easier with your braces and will not break or get caught on the brackets. The difference between waxed floss and regular floss is huge when dealing with braces. Take it from us, you do not want pieces of floss stuck between your teeth!

Follow The Steps

With your threader and waxed floss, you’re ready to floss correctly. At Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics, we suggest following these flossing steps:

- Start with about 12 inches of floss
- Put one end of the floss through the orthodontic threader
- Grab each end of the floss and wrap it around your middle fingers
- Gently slide the floss up and down on both sides of your teeth, make sure you get all the way up to the gum line
- Pull the piece of floss out and repeat for each tooth, continue until you’ve flossed every tooth

Disclosing Tablets

We know that this flossing process is a bit different than what you are used to. But, we want to make sure you are flossing correctly. To double check your flossing work, we recommend using a disclosing tablet. It’s a small dissolvable tablet containing vegetable dye. The dye will quickly color any area of your teeth and mouth that need a little extra attention next time. This will help you see which areas you are flossing well and which areas need a little more work. 

Questions or Concerns? Contact Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics!

For any questions or concerns, call our West Palm Beach office today! We understand that flossing is different now with braces, and we want to help you through the process. Our team at Lunsford McCaffrey Orthodontics is ready to assist! Easier, more efficient flossing can be achieved with our tips and tricks!