Properly brushing and flossing your teeth when you have braces is imperative when it comes to keeping a happy and healthy smile.

Brushing your teeth only cleans about 70% of the surfaces of your teeth. Flossing helps to scrub the other 30% missed by brushing and is especially helpful with removing food trapped in brackets and wires.

Although it can be a bit time consuming, it is important not to skip out on flossing your teeth when you have braces. These flossing techniques can help make the process of flossing between your brackets and wires faster and easier:

Dental Tape

For some, after getting braces, the gums can be a bit swollen and sensitive. Swapping out regular floss for dental tape can be a more comfortable alternative while the gums become healthier and less sensitive.

Dental tape is thinner than regular dental floss and wide like a ribbon. This allows it to glide between teeth with less irritation.

Floss Threader

Using a floss threader can help to speed up the time it takes to floss using the traditional flossing method. This small, plastic tool helps you to slide floss behind the braces wire easily, potentially cutting down your flossing routine by several minutes. It is also recommended to use waxed-floss to prevent snags on your brackets and wires.

Another perk of this method is that it is inexpensive and widely available. You can purchase floss threaders at supermarkets and drugstores in the oral care section, right by the floss.

Water Flossers

Water flossers are tools that use a pressurized stream of water to clean between the teeth and along the gumline. Although water flossers cost about $50, they are extremely efficient when it comes to cleaning your teeth, and it only takes about 3 minutes to floss.

Some water flossers also come with special tips specifically for braces. The tapered tips allow you to maneuver around brackets and wires with ease.