3 Tricks to Make Flossing With Braces Easier

Encouraging kids to floss even is a challenge for most parents, but it becomes even more challenging when children have braces. The wires in braces prevent you from flossing traditionally, and it's very difficult to do on your own. Orthodontic care is an important part of maintaining a healthy smile, but it takes commitment from parents and guardians to make sure teeth stay healthy while they're being straightened.

Here are three tricks to make it easier for a child wearing braces to floss regularly:

Use The Right Tool

Using floss on teeth with braces is difficult and frustrating. Sliding the floss between the teeth above the wire is a bit like threading a needle. An orthodontic floss threader is an inexpensive and disposable tool available in nearly any store that sells toothbrushes and toothpaste. It is indispensable when flossing teeth with braces because it allows you to pull the floss through the teeth above the wire and reach the gum line.

Help Younger Children Floss

Do not expect younger children with braces to have the dexterity required to floss successfully. You most likely will need to help your child floss. It's best to have him kneel or sit in a well-lit area, as it can take a long time. If your child has a difficult time sitting still, have him sit where he can watch a favorite show or listen to music while you floss.

Use Waxed Floss

Non-wax floss is more likely to catch on braces and leave behind shreds of floss. When flossing with braces, it is best to use waxed floss with a floss threader, which will slip between each tooth without catching more easily. Gently slide the floss up into the gum line of both teeth before removing the floss and threader and going to the next tooth.

While dental care is important for all kids, children with braces should be especially encouraged to take care of their teeth. Guardians and parents should play an active role in ensuring proper dental care. Flossing with braces will take your child about twice as long as flossing teeth without braces, but it must done regularly to prevent gingivitis and plaque buildup.

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Top Tips for EARLY ORTHODONTICS

  • Swish with water before brushing – instruct your child to rinse with water after eating. This will loosen food that may be caught in the braces, then brush thoroughly.
  • Floss once a day – each night help you child floss. Flossing helps loosen food debris and plaque at and under the gum line that would otherwise harden into tartar. It can also help reach the nooks and crannies in the teeth that might be difficult to reach with a toothbrush.
  • Use a fluoride rinse – after brushing and before bed have your child rinse with fluoride rinse to help keep teeth strong and healthy
  • Dental visits every six months – take your child to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months. The dentist can point out areas that need more attention, and help make sure you're keeping your child’s teeth healthy and clean.