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Oral Health Buzz

Using a Floss Threader: Make Flossing Easier

Shadra Bruce

Do you avoid flossing because you have braces, a dental bridge or a permanent retainer? A floss threader may be just the tool you need to start flossing regularly. Flossing is an important step in maintaining proper dental hygiene - it not only removes food particles from between teeth that your toothbrush can't reach, but also keeps your gums healthy and helps remove plaque to prevent tartar buildup.

Because flossing plays an important role in the health of your gums, the American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day and brushing at least twice a day. For those with special flossing needs, meeting this recommendation can be difficult. Because the most important area to floss is the gum line, a threader can be an important tool in helping thread the floss into those difficult spaces near the gums.

A threader is a simple, disposable tool sold in the dental care section of nearly every grocery and pharmacy. It is easy to use with any kind of floss.

How to Use a Floss Threader

  1. Pull off 12 to 18 inches of your preferred dental floss.
  2. Insert one end of the dental floss about five inches into the loop of the threader.
  3. Pass the floss threader under or over any dental appliance such as braces, permanent retainer or bridge.
  4. Remove the threader from the floss and floss gently back and forth and up and down into the gumline between the teeth.
  5. Repeat the process.

It does take longer to floss using a threader than it would without one, but when you can't get the floss between your teeth and along the gumline any other way, it offers a practical solution for ensuring you receive the best possible dental health.

Learn more about how to floss in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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