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As an orthodontic patient, you know that it's essential that you brush and floss your teeth twice a day for good oral hygiene. You've got the brushing down, and you thought you knew how to floss, but those pesky wires seem to be getting in the way. Wires and brackets will prevent you from flossing your teeth in a traditional manner. As a braces wearer, you will have to adapt your approach and use slightly different tools to maintain clean teeth. 

Use a floss threader

An orthodontic floss threader is a piece of straight plastic with a loop on one end used to floss around braces. It looks similar to a sewing needle and slides the floss underneath the wire so that the user of the tool can floss between each tooth. Threaders are good for teens and adults, but may not be the best option for kids with braces. Parents may need to help little ones floss. This process can take a long time, so patience is key. 

Use waxed floss

Unwaxed floss can snag and get caught on your braces, leaving behind shreds. The waxed variety is also more gentle on your gums. 

How-to

Pull out 12 to 18 inches of floss and thread it carefully under the main wire of the braces before passing it between two teeth. Gently slide the floss up into the gum line of both teeth and then remove it. Re-thread it under the main wire to pass between the next pair of teeth. Take your time and make sure that you are systematic with your approach in order to reach each tooth.

If you want to learn more about flossing with braces, don't hesitate to contact an orthodontist in New York

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