Many are aware that flossing is a vital step in your oral care, but fewer know what tools are available to make it less of a chore. Floss threaders might be what you've been looking for if you have braces, a permanent retainer, a bridge, or another orthodontic device. We're here to help navigate why flossing is important and how to do it correctly with a threader.
Using a Floss Threader: Flossing Made Easier
Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications
Cleaning between your teeth with floss or a flossing device is an essential part of your dental care routine, especially if you have a dental appliance. Why is flossing so important? The best way to care for your oral health is to avoid problems before they start.
Cleaning between your teeth removes food debris and plaque, preventing cavities and gum disease. If plaque isn’t cleaned, it hardens into tartar that requires a dental professional's help to remove. Food matter that is not adequately removed will contribute to bacterial growth and tooth decay.
Remember that the most important part of flossing is not the type you use but that you do it effectively and regularly. By educating yourself on proper flossing technique and making it part of your daily routine, you’re making a great step for your oral health.
Tips for cleaning between your teeth effectively:
- Choose a time of day that’s convenient for your schedule to floss so that you can devote the proper time and attention to the task.
- Don’t reuse floss as it could be damaged or contain harmful bacteria.
- Schedule regular visits to your dentist or dental hygienist.
What Are Floss Threaders?
The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth with a flossing device once a day and brushing twice a day. This part of your routine can be especially challenging if you have an orthodontic device like braces, a permanent retainer, or a bridge.
Luckily, floss threaders are here to help.
These helpful tools make it easier to floss effectively for those who find it difficult due to their dental appliance or other challenges. Not only can it be an ordeal to clean difficult to reach areas, but braces and other devices can fray the floss and force you to start over.
Floss threaders are loops of thin material that make it easier to clean difficult to reach areas of your teeth and gums with floss. They’re disposable, work with any regular floss, and are easy to find online or at any store with a dental section.
Helpful tip: If you’re having trouble finding a flossing device that works for you, it’s a good idea to consult your dental professional. It’s also a good idea to schedule an appointment with the pros if you’re experiencing pain or bleeding when flossing regularly.
How to Use a Floss Threader
Flossing with a threader is much like flossing normally but may take extra time and effort as you master the technique. You’ll be glad to have made the extra effort to avoid health problems down the line like cavities or gum disease that will require the help of a dental professional to treat.
How to properly use a floss threader:
- Break off between 12-18 inches of your favorite floss.
- Run approximately 5 inches of one end of the floss through the loop of the threader.
- Run the floss threader through your dental appliance and into a gap between your teeth.
- Remove the loop of the threader and floss normally. Press the floss into your gumline, form it into a C-shape, and run it gently up and down the sides of both teeth.
- Repeat for each tooth, including the outside of your back teeth. Discard the threader after use.
If this process sounds challenging, don’t worry! Keep in mind that it will get easier with practice, and the first time will be the most difficult. Cleaning between your teeth is a vital step in your dental routine, and floss threaders may be the tool you’re missing to make flossing easier. You’re now set up for success after informing yourself on the best way to use floss threaders.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.