What Type of Dental Floss Should You Use If You Have Braces?
Flossing and brushing your teeth is important without braces, but with braces it is even more so important. The issue is, and most orthodontists are aware that this is an issue, is that people struggle to use the right type of floss for their braces—and may give up flossing altogether. Well, orthodontists like the ones at John Redmond Orthodontics don’t want that. That’s why we’re going to give you some pointers, some tips, and explain a few major differences between types of floss.
The first thing to know about dental products, is that there’s a ton. They’re all marketed towards specific audiences, and often serve various audiences. So… before we dive into the world of how to floss, let’s talk about the general types of floss you may encounter and what might work best for you.
Types of Floss
Unwaxed floss is the most basic type of floss you can find; it is a nylon floss that is made of about 35 strands of nylon twisted together and is super thin. This is great if your teeth are close together, but it is prone to shredding and is not very durable.
Waxed floss is the standard nylon floss, with the same 35 strands of nylon twisted together. It’s still super thin and fits in small mouths or mouths where the teeth are very close together. However, the wax coating makes it a bit more durable, so it won’t break as often, but the wax may make it not work as well in tight spots.
Dental tape is a broader and flatter floss, and has waxed and unwaxed versions. People who have a lot of space between their teeth find dental tape to be more comfortable to use.
Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE is made of the same material that’s used in Gore-Tex fabric. This material slides between your teeth with ease and is not likely to shred when compared to standard floss. “Gore-Tex” fabric, of “Guaranteed to Keep You Dry” fabric is a waterproof fabric.
Last but not least, we’ll touch on super floss. Super flosses are made up of yarn-like materials with stiffer sections on each end that may be best to clean around braces or bridges in your mouth.
A floss holder is great for people who cannot flossor are not good at flossing traditionally. This type of holder is going to have floss built into one end of it, and you hold on to the handle and floss that way.
Some flosses may be flavored and marketed towards children; those flavored flosses can be any flavor and any type of floss.
How To Floss With Braces
When using traditional floss, you’ll want 18 to 24 inches, you will thread the floss between the main wire and your teeth—be in front of a mirror, it makes it easier to see what you’re doing. Then you just press the floss between the two teeth and repeat until finished.
This process is similar for most of the flosses mentioned above.