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If you have braces, you might think, “Yay! I don’t have to floss!”

But when you have braces it’s even more important to floss since it’s much easier for food particles to get stuck between your teeth and cause cavities. As we wrote about previously, flossing prevents heart disease, helps you live longer and avoid high dental bills.

You can still floss when you have braces, but it will just take a little more time than usual. Every second you spend flossing is worth it if you want to maintain good oral and physical health. Plus, the more you floss while having braces, the more efficient you will get at flossing.

Here are a few simple steps for how to floss while having braces:

  • Use around 18 inches of waxed floss, since unwaxed floss can get caught in your braces and shred more easily.
  • Feed the short end of the floss through the space between the main arch wire and the upper part of the tooth nearest to the gum line.
  • Gently move the floss back and forth between the pair of teeth.
  • Remove the floss and repeat.
  • Don’t pull too hard around the arch wire.
  • Continue the same process with the rest of your teeth.

You may also be concerned about how to brush your teeth with braces. The best method is to:

  • Brush down from the top of the tooth and up from the bottom with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Then use a “Christmas tree” brush that is specially designed to clean between your braces. Insert the brush down from the top and up from the bottom of your braces.

If you are in need of braces or would like more information on Invisalign, which are invisible braces that make flossing easy, contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry today and set-up an appointment.