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How to properly floss with braces & without

by Michael Abdoney - 1/11/2021 - Braces

Flossing is a very important part of daily dental hygiene regimens. The process dislodges food particles stuck in the teeth, which in turn reduces bacteria and plaque build-up. Plaque build-up can cause gum disease and bad breath.

While most people brush their teeth at least twice a day, about 4 out of 10 Americans floss on a daily basis.

There is a certain technique for flossing correctly. You must do it right to achieve optimum results. Flossing the wrong way can lead to tooth damage and gum bleeding. Here are the correct steps:

  • Break off about 20 to 24 inches of floss. wind it around your middle finger and leave a couple of inches for the teeth.
  • Hold the floss between the thumb and index finger.
  • Move the floss gently up and down between the tooth. Make sure not to bruise your gums.
  • Once the floss gets to the bottom of the tooth, angle it like a "c" and gently come back up.
  • Repeat steps.

Flossing with braces can be a difficult chore. The procedure takes a little while longer with braces. However, a Waterpik or some other sort of water flosser is probably the best method to use for braces. It saves time and you don't have to worry about getting floss stuck in your braces.

Which should you do first, floss or brush. Most people brush then floss. According to the American Dental Association, you should floss to dislodge food particles then brush.

There are three categories of flosses: dental tape, standard floss, and super floss.

Which one you use depends on your own personal preference:

  • Dental tape is a bit wider than standard floss. If you have gaps or braces, it's likely your best choice.
  • Standard floss is the ultra-thin nylon that can fit right between your teeth. This floss comes in different flavors and you can get it waxed and unwaxed.
  • Super floss works well with braces. It is stiff and has the ability to clean around certain areas and beneath the gum line.

It is very important to have good dental hygiene. So learning how to floss correctly will help you maintain optimum dental health. Also, it is important to schedule regular dental checkups at least twice a year. Your dentist can determine the health of your teeth and gums and make fix any problems you may have.